Visual journalism “is not about being pretty”, it is about explaining a story more effectively – this was the advice of visual editor at LaInformacion.com Chiqui Esteban, speaking at the News World Summit in Paris today.
In his presentation to the conference Esteban explained why he felt entire newsrooms need to think visually whether staff are writers, developers or designers, with the overall focus on telling the story in the most effective way.
He outlined how visual journalism can be used to explain, show trends, give geographical information, personal information and help media outlets “be different”.
Here are two of the examples he ran through showing this sort of visual journalism in action:
How Presidents’ Pay Compares with [Professors' salaries]
Rock-Paper-Scissors: You vs. the Computer
The key is “being different”, he said, citing this as the reason for LaInformacion’s survival.
Everybody has to think visually. We have to propose things in morning meetings but the rest of newsroom has to tell [us what they would like also] … Sometimes the best visual ideas come from people who don’t work on visuals.
He also shared some interesting thoughts on newsroom integration when it comes to working on visual storytelling.
In LaInformacion all the newsroom is 30 people, we are obligated to collaborate if we want to have something.
But he said “everybody wants to do graphics” and writers have seen “that it works”.
They’ve learnt something that they don’t have to write a story, they just have to think and between all of us we will decide how is the best way to show it – if it’s text with video, interactive multimedia or a graphic.
We have been journalists with them, we care about information and not with things looking pretty, they trust us, We earn their trust and we trust them with their stories and everyone respects each other.