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#Tip: 7 data visualisation tips for beginners

May 6th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists
By Jorge Fran Ganillo on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

By Jorge Fran Ganillo on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

The rise in the use of data in journalism has brought with it a need to be able to accurately portray that data in a way that is easy for readers to understand.

This can sometimes be a hurdle for small newsrooms or independent journalists who do not have a background in digital design but Ann K Emery an evaluation, data and visualisation consultant at Innovation Network has put together a useful list of tips for beginners in the field.

This post on her blog about the data visualisation design has advice on the process from beginning to end and is worth having a look at even if it is just to better understand the process a newsroom designer may go through.

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#Tip: Download these storyboard templates

October 14th, 2013 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Multimedia, Top tips for journalists

The visual nature of the web means that video is becoming a central aspect of a news organisation’s output, even if they have traditionally been focussed on print.

These storyboard templates from Printable Paper can help to plan a story or a shoot in visual terms and are just as useful for filming as they are for web design or interactives.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link.
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#Podcast – Meeting readers at the front door: lessons in news site homepage design

September 6th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Design and graphics, Podcast

The constantly evolving nature of the web means sites have to regularly update how they present themselves. The New York Times is set to undergo a major overhaul, Trinity Mirror titles have been going through a similar process throughout the year, and ITV News was named “best designed site” at 2013′s Online Media Awards.This podcast looks at key themes in how news organisations present the wide range of news and stories on their websites, and discusses some trends for the future.

We speak to:

  • Grig Davidovitz, CEO and co-founder of RGB media, a company for journalistic strategy and digital tool development
  • William Owen, strategy director and founding partner of Made by Many, which built the new ITV News website
  • David Higgerson, digital publishing director, Trinity Mirror

You can hear future podcasts by signing up to the iTunes podcast feed.

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#Tip: Download these free ebooks on journalism

June 7th, 2013 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Top tips for journalists
By Wiertz Sebastien on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

By Wiertz Sebastien on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Paul Bradshaw compiled a list of 20 free e-books (later updated to 37) and published them on his Online Journalism Blog. Topics such as online journalism and multimedia; computer-assisted reporting; community management; data and information; culture, copyright and code; investigative journalism; and design and programming are all included, making sure there’s something for everyone.

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#Podcast – Adapting to change: How and why news sites are moving to responsive design

November 2nd, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Design and graphics, Mobile, Podcast

With regular launches of new mobile devices only adding to the different platforms people are consuming news from, a number of media outlets have recently announced moves towards responsive designs to offer users an experience which suits the device on which they are accessing content.

In this week’s podcast we speak to four news outlets about their approaches to responsive design and the long-term impact that they see development today having in the future for the news site. We also look at other responsive matters beyond the resizing of text, such as the opportunities for advertising experience and enhanced visual storytelling.

The podcast features:

  • William Beavis, head of digital, Midland News Association
  • Andy Hume, front-end architect, Guardian News & Media
  • Chris Russell, head of product for news, BBC Future Media
  • Cathy Sharick, managing editor,

Here is more on the responsive designs recently announced by the above media outlets:

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#Tip of the day for journalists: Digital design tools and tech

October 24th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

Image by kennymatic on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Lauren Rabaino of 10,000 Words this week posted a list of 10 tools which journalists working in digital news design may find of use in the areas of “CSS3, responsive design and rapid prototyping”. Her list comes out of a visit to the Pacific Northwest Drupal Summit.

See the full post here.

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#wef12: What news outlets can learn from magazines on content presentation

Image by VFS Digital Design on Flickr. Some rights reserved. Creative commons licence

Bonnier Business Media designer Jacek Utko has previously spoken about the need for news outlets to break the template format online, in the way they can with their print products.

Speaking at the World Editors Forum in Kiev today, Utko helpfully highlighted the ways in which news outlets can show that creativity in the presentation of their newspaper print products. And the place to look for inspiration is in magazines. Put simply, he said, “I don’t look for inspiration in newspapers anymore”.

The key lessons for newsrooms to take from magazine content presentation include finding a balance between long and short pieces, producing simple visuals and offering bite-sized chunks of information, the latter being a news presentation format which also “increases understanding”.

Magazines also demonstrate how to “tell stories almost without words”, he said, and “surprise the readers” with different news design on the front page.

That’s what we do with our newspapers, play the white space…

This then looks “totally different in the kiosk on the shelf than the other newspapers”, he said.

And this design approach need not only be for news outlets with sizeable resources. It is “very cheap” to do, he said, and takes just a few hours a day, and means print products can get a step ahead of digital in terms of design.

Art direction and news presentation is so weak on the web, it’s our strength, it’s our competitive advantage for print.

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Similar posts: unveils new ‘cleaner’ look

February 8th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Design and graphics, Online Journalism

The Daily Mirror today unveils a new-look website, at

Before: how the site looked last week

Mirror Online publisher Matt Kelly says in an introductory post that the “cleaner and less cluttered” design will make better use of photography and video.

Content is organised into seven sections: News, Sport, 3am, Lifestyle, Money, Play and Opinion. Comments are encouraged on stories, and sharing articles has been made easier.

Kelly said:

We constantly improve our website and as much as we believe the new look Mirror Online is a big step forward, we know there’ll be things we haven’t got completely right.

PaidContent has a video interview with Matt Kelly and Mirror managing director Chris Ellis:

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Independent launches bold new masthead and dumps viewspaper in makeover

October 11th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Design and graphics, Newspapers

The Indy has a bold new masthead to celebrate its 25th birthday. It certainly sticks out among all the other papers in the shop, which can be no bad thing for the relatively low-circulation title.

The new-look paper also comes with a new typeface and headline fonts.

The other big change is that the “Viewspaper”, a pullout comment section created by recently-departed editor Simon Kelner, has been ditched.

New editor Chris Blackhurst said:

We have decided to use the occasion of the paper’s 25th birthday for a makeover. The masthead is bolder – still ‘the Independent’, complete with eagle, but now more striking and harder to miss on the news stands.

The body typeface and headline fonts we use have been made more readable. The other, main alteration is that the Viewspaper has gone. We thought long and hard about this. Viewspaper was created to draw attention to the unrivalled quality of the Independent’s commentators.

We continue to take pride in this quality. But since taking over three months ago, I’ve become aware that the Viewspaper could be something of a ghetto, to be taken out and read later – but in truth, put on one side and, during a busy day, all too often forgotten.

He added that the aim was to create a “faster, more accessible and urgent paper, one that is easily navigated and that puts you in no doubt what The Independent stands for”.



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10,000 Words: The new Washington Post site design

10,000 words takes a look at the new Washington Post site design. Changes include an “enhanced” commenting system allowing editors to prominently feature certain comments.

According to 10,000 Words, the new system “marks one of the most forward-thinking aspects of the redesign”.

The new design is much more modern and clean than the old homepage that looked like something out of the late ’90s. According to a press release from The Post, the new design is “intended to further reader engagement and discussion around Post journalism and showcase more multimedia content”.

Full article on 10,000 Words at this link

See the Post’s own innovations blog for more on its redesign.

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