Describing hieroglyphics or cave paintings as the first infographics may be stretching the terminology to abstraction, but a visual representation of ideas and stories is endemic to human culture.
A more accurate starting point for the modern, journalistic form is the so-called “graphics guru” Edward Tufte, professor emeritus of political science, statistics and computer science at Yale, but even then the internet has given rise to new, interactive forms of visual storytelling that continually stretch technological bounds. This collection of interactives commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK gives an idea of the variety so far conceived.
Best practice for building and managing these types of stories at news outlets is a constant source of debate, so at the International Journalist’s Network Jessica Weiss has put together tips on how best to manage such projects.
Communication, reflection and lean startup principles are among the key points and are worth remembering for innovative projects no matter how big the newsroom.