Identifying The Best Explanatory Graphics In News About A Current Crisis

Original Reports Downplayed Risk

Initial reports downplayed the threat of radiation  from a damaged nuclear power plant in Japan. An increasingly dangerous nuclear crisis produced explanations of the risks. How were info graphics used online to explain the complexity? We reviewed infographics used on Washington Post.com and CNN.com.
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Local Broadcasters Have Opportunities To Explain The Complexities Of Climate Change

During a climate change panel at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), I underscored the opportunities for trusted local broadcasters to exploit the interactivity of the web and mobile devices to engage audiences with personalized and explanatory messages.

The TV source (click to enlarge)

Most of what people learn about climate change still comes from TV.
In a survey of more than 2,000, the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication found that respondents believed most of what they learned about climate change came from television (see chart on left). When asked where they would turn in the future for climate info, however, the preferred source was the Web (see chart below). This suggests the need for more research for effective explanation of the issue.
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Different Power Companies Communicate Outages In Different Ways

SAMPLE OF WEB SCREENS ANALYZED

Beginning January 27, 2011, a major winter storm dumped snow and ice over Virginia, Maryland and the Washington D.C. metro area. Gusty winds and downed trees left thousands of homes without power, some for several days.

WE REVIEWED GRAPHICS, CHARTS AND TEXT.
Analyses were conducted of the amount of explanatory information provided by the Web sites of the five power utilities serving the region. We reviewed information posted by: NOVEC (Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative), Allegheny Power, PEPCO (Potomac Electric Power Company), Dominion Power and BGE (Baltimore Gas & Electric). Continue reading

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Briefly Reflecting Then Quickly Looking Ahead


Teaching & Learning From Users

After designing new courses and conducting multiple studies in 2010, I am terminating my older sites to aggregate all of my teaching and research here. If you’re intrigued by the terms transmedia (in addition to multimedia), mLearning (in addition to eLearning) and continuous partial attention (besides dedicated attention), this site may be of interest. Those who still claim “we really don’t know where all this technology is taking us” haven’t been closely following – or may not value – the empirical research of systematic and often predictable user trends that continue to evolve before our eyes and in the data. The different ways diverse audiences seek, select and share digital information are being analyzed by those interested in what’s coming in journalism and education.

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