Javier Errea. Can infographics save newspapers?
Photo from update.snd.org
Javier Errea's conference had a preview on Visualmente, but, what he aid on the University of Navarra was beyond infographics. Errea ade a strong bet for hybrid genre. An economics article can be explained with a comic strip, we can have op-columns without words, as Diario de Noticias (Pamplona) made to complaint for the arrest of their director. He's againt orthodoxy and with visual communication.
He defeden journalism above the rest, which works better than promotions, magazines and invasive ads. All in order to save the print media.
He also demostrated that the actual innovative solutions for infographics has been applied many years before. Fortune in the 30's, London Illustrated or Colors in the 90's have used before our original chartings systems, but also some of the principles Errea wants for the future of print.
He spoke about 'infographics stle eras'. First, with the fisrt war of Iraq, was the fascination for the tool: all big, colors, spectacle. The second Iraq war was different. We get used and looked for moro effectivity. He described the present era with a pseudomathematic formula:
50% of The New York Times + 25% of Jaume Serra's Clarín + 25% of Baptista's and Zarracina's El Correo
Tufte and the orthodoxy works well sometimes, but other information needs a plus to hook on the readers.
Mi personal opinion, and not so qualificated as Errea's, is that it's true than we have not to be 'talibans' of the graphics, but neither we can think that everything is fine. If tomorrow El Pais explains an economics information with cartoons, I suppuose we'll have some heart attacks in Spain. Errea says that the problems we put on this formulas came form journalists, but never from readers. In my opinion, is a step by step path. Young or popular newspapers can apply radical solutions, other, token as 'more serious' (although I hate this calification), have to go litle by little. But also having The Times in tabloid looked as impossible and here it is. I agree with Javier, but I also think taht this solutins are not exclussive from graphics department. Most of the ideas he shown was design solutions. It doesn't metter who take the determination, but the step he ask us to take must be a step taken by all the newsroom: editors, designers, writers, photographers...