Brief introduction to graphics

posted by Yong Kim

Graphics is just a way to present information visually. On the Web, this refers to photos, display type, flags, illustrations, icons, navigation buttons and bars. Almost anything on your site that’s more complex than HTML text and headlines can be considered graphics.

Information graphics (or infographics) – use this when some information is better digested visually than through text.  It is the ultimate “show, don’t tell.”
Examples: USA TODAY interactive graphics, Gallup
Types of information graphics:
Chart or graph (bar chart/bar graph; column chart/column graph; line chart/fever chart; pie chart or pie graph; time chart or timeline), Table or list, Diagram, map, graphic package.
  • Remember, the goal of every news graphic is to present information with clarity, simplicity and accuracy. Avoid overloading and overly clever graphics
Avoid data distortion: (example 1, example 2)
Inconsistent units of measurement, generally start at a zero baseline
Compiling and editing graphic data
1. Collect data carefully
2. Edit carefully
3. Convert to understandable values (avoid metric system in the U.S.)
4. Simplify – avoid clutter and present points tightly
5. Keep it simple – intimidating graphics will prevent readers from reading it. Don’t cram or overwork your graphic.
6. Keep it accurate – Don’t just use statistics from Joe shmo
7. Label it clearly
8. Dress it up – proceed with caution (USA TODAY example) (NY Times example )
Don’t forget to label, source and give credit.
Tutorials using Adobe programs

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J-school grads will have to look to non-traditional career paths

Entry by Jasmine Linabary

While graduating seniors fear their college newspaper might be the last newspaper they work for and are looking for jobs in other industries, journalism schools are becoming incredibly popular, according to an article on

The article takes a look at the numbers of students going into the industry from Columbia University, Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism and the University of Maryland and talks about the more non-traditional jobs and career paths graduates are facing.

Read more:As journalism remakes itself, students follow

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From the education side

Entry by Joy Bacon

I ran across this article from Inside Higher Ed about Columbia University’s changing journalism program, and its impact on Journalism programs nationwide. It’s an interesting read, with a lot of valuable links.

Keeping J-School Relevant

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E-media Tidbits to hold live chat on what j-students need Monday

Entry by Jasmine Linabary

Poynter Institutes’s E-media Tidbits team is holding a live chat Monday on what college journalism students need to learn.

The chat comes off of a recent post from Maurreen Skowran that outlines what a successful college journalism program in civic media would involve.

You can watch the chat and get answers to your questions about this topic on Monday at 1 p.m. EDT or 10 p.m. here in Spokane. If you visit the site now, you can get a reminder sent so that you don’t forget to join the chat here.

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Filed under Online journalism resources

Tips for Making Successful Video

Entry by Tim Takechi

Tips for Making Successful Video

1. Pre-plan your shoot.

2. Check your equipment before heading out.

3. Check your audio.

4. Shoot selectively.

5. Be very quiet while the camera is rolling.

6. Hold out your shots (especially b-roll).

7. Cut down on excessive panning and zooming.

8. Follow the formula of “wide, medium, and tight.”

9. Shoot and edit video in narrative sequence.

10. Be conscious of the framing and composition of your shots. Never be boring!

11. Remember depth of field.

12. Make sure there are people in your shots.

13. For static shots, use a tripod.

14. Anticipate action and be aware of where the story might go.

15. Take the proper precautions to make sure your on-camera interviews will succeed (a-roll).

16. Look for the best lighting conditions.

17. Keep track of what shots you have taken and what shots you need.

18. Label your tapes and keep track of names, information, etc.

19. Be aware of legal, logistical, or ethical problems before and while shooting.

20. Plan for more time for post-production than you think you will need.

Source: Knight Digital Media Center video techniques tutorial

Examples of good video journalism:

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Great Links to Great Online Video Journalism

Entry by Tim Takechi and Erica Schrader

Check out these great links and get inspired to do great work. Enjoy.

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Filed under Multimedia, Online journalism resources

Photo basics

Entry by Derek Casanovas

If you’re looking for places to learn about photography, check out these links:


Mastering Multimedia

A photo a day

Mercury News Photo

Also, remember the “triad” of photos that we talked about:

ISO – sensitivity of sensor to lighten exposure in shots, increase shutter speed if necessary — common ISO: 100, 200, 320, 400, 640, 800, 1000, 1200, 1600

Shutter speed – the unit of measurement which determines the length the shutter is open as the picture clicks — common speeds: 2, 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, 1/2000, 1/4000, 1/8000 — each is half of the previous speed

Aperture (f-stop) – a measurement that indicates to what degree the lens opens and closes, and thus determines how much of your shot is in focus; controls the amount of light that enters the lens — common f-stops: 2.8, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5.6, 6.3

Again, here’s a good place to start on the basics of photography. And, check out some of our students’ work on the Multimedia subpage on

For good ideas, check out Kirk Hirota’s, The Whitworthian’s photo advisor, Web site, and former Whitworthian shooter/photo editor Nate Chute’s page.

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