Tuesday, March 15, 2005

'Be Fast, Accurate and Innovative," says Alberto Cairo

Alberto Cairo presented his work to the assembled students of the Interact Don't Show! and Show Don't Tell! workshops this morning. Discussing El Mundo.es' approach to online infographics, he described three challenges has encountered: how to work fast, how to be journalistically sound, and how to keep innovating.

He showed the audience how elmundo.es works quickly by posting incremental updates of their graphics online as news breaks: a locator map, a static graphic, and finally a complete animated package.

At the same time, he said, infographics staffs must work closely with editors and writers to check their facts. Earlier in his career, he said, the excitement of the web and animation tools made it tempting to overreach journalistically. Don't simulate an event, he said, if you aren't absolutely sure how it happened.

He also offered a preview of El Mundo's evolving approach to infographics. Multimedia is an important element, he said, showing an animated video with narration showing Albert Einstein's development of the theory of relativity.

A student suggested this approach might be too linear for the web, and lacking in interactivity.

That's true, answered Alberto. But there's many ways to do this, and we should try all of them.


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