Some days ago, Innovations in newspapers talked about this frontpage of South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Juan Antonio Giner used this example to talk about how, on this apparently terrible print crisis, some media are directing their efforts on cosmetic solutions, and not journalism. He compared this actions like putting lipstick on a pig, when industry really needs heart surgery.
I absolutely agree with the idea. People read newspapers because of the journalism. If they want to see pretty things they can go to a museum, or to see beautiful landscapes. Better than a photoshoppy frontpage.
But this problem is an old one on the infographics departments (and not just becasue of the infographics journalists, who most of the times are the firsts again this practices).
Infographics to fill gaps, to make a page look beautiful, because we have no data (what a paradox!), because we have no photographs, because we don't want to write more, because people expects a graphic on these cases although we don't have any data, because teh big boss loves graphics...
At the end this is not the solution. Because it's trying to fool the reader, our real chief. We're not giving them journaism, but patches. And people get tired of it. They don't want to observe a double spread graphic to realize that it says nothing or just the same than the written article.
A graphic is a journalistic product and must inform, not decorate.
It's not that graphics should be ugly, but sthetics without infrmation is useless.
It's forensic makeup. Or as Juan Antonio Giner said, lipstick on a pig.