World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Compelling stories deserve compelling visuals

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

Compelling stories deserve compelling visuals

Data visualization techniques have evolved over the years but continue to be an effective way to communicate important and complex information while capturing readers’ attention. Interactiveness through visuals, graphics, and bubbles of text engage readers on journalistic pieces and investigations that are worth their while.

The following data visualization projects have demonstrated excellence in design, usefulness and clarity of information conveyed in infographics and other innovative formats, in the context of their newsrooms’ agendas. Their originality and visual impact, as well as their effectiveness on mobile devices, is outstanding.

Each of the following media companies made use of structured and creative data visualizations for very different topics, and managed to provide a story that appealed to a broader and more engaged audience. Finally, the effective and innovative user experience leads to an in-depth understanding of each topic. 


International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, United States

Mauritius Leaks: It Takes a Village to Create a Tax Dodge

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) carried out a deep-dive investigation into how a law firm on a small island off Africa’s east coast helped companies leach tax revenue from poor African, Arab and Asian nations. In a collaboration led by the ICIJ, 54 journalists in 18 countries scoured more than 200,000 documents from the Mauritius office of a prestigious offshore law firm, Conyers Dill & Pearman. 

The ICIJ therefore resorted to data visualization tools to communicate a series of complex corporate maneuvers into a simple story that demonstrated the lengths that some companies go in order to avoid taxes, the roles played by tax havens and  facilitators, and the way such structures can create inequalities and hurt communities. The result was a visual, colorful, lightly animated scrolling story that followed how Aircastle - a multibillion-dollar company that leases planes to major airlines - dodged taxes. The project covered the company’s introduction to Conyers Dill & Pearman, the building of a team of advisers and accountants, and how that tax revenue could have benefited a local community instead.


Le Devoir, Canada

Le débat des chefs décortiqué 

In October 2019, Canada was plunged into an election campaign. The Leaders' Debates Commission mandated a consortium of Quebec French-language media, including Le Devoir, to organize and broadcast a debate of party leaders live. Le Devoir’s multimedia journalism team dissected the two hours of debate in which six party leaders participated, and then they analyzed the 19,000 words spoken by them. 

Le Devoir presented a well-structured, appealing data visualization to underline who spoke the most, what were the most used words, which topics were covered in more length, the activity generated in Twitter during the debate - along with an explanation of peaks in each graph - and a breakdown of more relevant information for the public. 


Vox, United States

These 3 supertrees can protect us from climate collapse But can we protect them?

Vox’s Eliza Barclay raised awareness over nature-based climate solutions often ignored by the current tech-worshipping culture. Realizing few were talking about it, Vox later paired their journalists with local photographers in Brazil, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to meet the scientists studying the forest ecosystems of 3 special supertrees that are able to contribute to climate thanks to their scientific composition. Vox produced 3 longform pieces on each supertree, further describing their threats and policy making around their protection.

Vox aimed at communicating its readers the urgency of deforestation as a threat to the climate. Vox integrated text, data, photographs, drone video, maps, and stepper graphics to create visual explainers that would engage the reader beyond a simple article. 

The winner of this category is Vox and is now competing for WAN-IFRA’s 2020 World Digital Media Awards against the winners from Latin America, Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India.



Daniela Pena


2020-05-06 16:33

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