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BLOG 5: Political Blog

Since creating a Twitter account at the beginning of the semester, I have been following a website called GOOD.  I really like the articles and blogs posted on this site because they are very visually oriented.  They often tell stories in the form of “transparencies” that represent things in creative graphics.  I forget how I stumbled upon the site Mother Jones, but I liked the story that I found on this page because it was very similar to the style that I found in GOOD.

 

The graphic below is part of a series of 10 images in a single blog post that addresses economic inequality in the United States. It illustrates income distribution among Americans and highlights the concentration of wealth among a few very elite income groups.

 

 

This image takes the angle of American reality versus American perception:

 

These first two images are unique representations of the particular issue that this blog post is addressing.  They help me understand income inequality in America in a new way.  But not all of the graphics were easy for me to comprehend:

 

 

This one looks more conventional than the other depictions and it also intimidates me just to look at it.  When I see all of those numbers I feel overwhelmed and unmotivated to interpret.  The other side of this is, graphic representations like the two shown above may be simplifications of complex issues or perhaps even complications of complicated issues.  In order to fully understand any political issue, I will still need to look at more traditional written sources of information to supplement the information and frames presented artistically  like the ones in this Mother Jones post.

 

What impresses me about this kind of blog is its ability to represent an issue in a unique way and to provide many different faces to that issue.  In the end, however, just like in written blogs and in news, this information is still being framed.  To most effectively use this kind of explanation, I should ask questions about exactly what graphics explain and supplement this information with information from several other sources.

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  1. March 8, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Very good.

    You should check out the work of Edward Tufte: http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/index. He is a leader of the field of visual information, which sounds like something you would like.

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