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Early in the Year, Strong Contender for "Most Confusing News Graphic"

Now, since I can't find the graphic itself online, you'll have to find yourself a copy of yesterday's Post-Dispatch, but let me try to describe it.

Accompanying an otherwise acceptable article on B1 by Bill Lambrecht, the Post's Washington bureau chief, was a confusing infographic entitled "Some key woman leaders," with green squares representing the years various folks (Indira Gandhi, Corazon Aquino and so on) were in elected office around the world. Fine.

However, for various women, the years prior to those they served, or after the years they served, were shaded in a lighter green. But the "non-serving" years or decades weren't uniformly shaded in, across the board, just kind of...based on artistic feelings? I don't know. I thought the format of graphic chosen was poor, and the execution made it worse.

It's not too often I look at the paper version of the paper, and I'm surprised lately at how much I dislike it. I'm also not a fan of the entire column of comments from readers of the blog down the left-hand side of the "NewsWatch" section...I couldn't really care less what some gal in Ferguson thinks will happen in the future of TV, you know? I save those conversations for cocktail parties: use that space to hire some reporters and give me some news.


Posted under The Media by Amanda Doyle on Mon., Jan 23, 2006 at 11:54 AM


I'm glad I wasn't the only confused one. I'm not color-blind but IMHO they could've chosen colors with a little more contrast to display the data. "....the *sage* green shows the years Benazir Bhutto was in office, whereas the *moss* green shows those years after she was ousted....."

[Posted by barbara on Mon., Jan 23, 2006 at 12:21 PM]

Agreed on the too-close shades of green, but that wasn't even my main complaint: why even shade in at all the years people *weren't* in office? What's the point?

[Posted by amanda on Mon., Jan 23, 2006 at 12:52 PM]

I had the exact same confusion regarding the graphic...I thought I was just too hungover to grasp the enormity of the message. Some kind of legend or key *might* have been helpful...

[Posted by jason on Wed., Jan 25, 2006 at 2:38 PM]

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