Interactives ofOlympic ProportionsThe Diffusion of Data Journalism atThe New York TimesCindy Royal, Ph.D.School of Journalism and Mass CommunicationTexas State Universitycindyroyal.comFind this presentation at slideshare.net/cindyroyal
Introduction• Programming and data techniques are rapidly influencing theways organizations tell stories• Few organizations currently have the resources to delivercomprehensive, online, data-driven, interactive newspresentations, but many are seeking to gain thesecompetencies.• The Olympic Games provide engaging content and visuals,potential for multimedia, and a plethora of data for presentationand interaction.• Starting with the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, the influenceof Interactive News team on the graphic work of theorganization can be observed.
Overview•This study analyzes the evolution of graphic and datavisualization at The New York Times through the lens ofOlympic coverage since 2008.•By comparing the graphic coverageof NYT for the 2008, 2010, 2012Olympics, this provides a goodbarometer for the types of graphicwork being done and the diffusionof innovation influencing the fieldof journalism.
Literature• “Excellence in statistical graphics consists ofcomplex ideas communicated with clarity,precision and efficiency” - Tufte• “Knowing what to do with data is the essence of the new precisionjournalism” - Meyer• Programmer/Journalist - Holovaty• Very few articles in mass communication on data journalism• The Journalist as Programmer• Data-driven journalism and the public good: “Computer-assisted-reporters”and “programmer-journalists” in Chicago - Parasie & Dagiral• Interactivity research – McMillan/Downes, Rafaeli, Sundar, Kiousis• Diffusion - “The process by which an innovation is communicatedthrough certain channels over time among the members of a socialsystem.” - Rogers
Research Questions• RQ1: How has the presentation ofonline graphics on The New York Timeswebsite changed since the 2008 Olympics?• H1: Over time, The New York Times will present moreOlympic graphics that are interactive.• H2: Over time, The New York Times will present moreOlympic graphics that display data.
Method• The main visual Olympic stories done by NYTsince 2008 have been conveniently capturedand archived on topic pages.• Each interactive was coded for interactivity andpresence of data
London 2012: Oympics Graphics -http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/08/06/sports/olympics/olympic-graphics-collection.html
Number of InteractivesBeijing 2008 30Vancouver 2010 29London 2012 22
Assessed on a scale of 1-41 – limited interactivity for the user; pushing a play button; no abilityfor non-linear navigation2 – some interactivity and ability for non-linear navigation, i.e.stepping through a slideshow to select any slide from within anyslide.3- more advanced interactivity; ability to interact with more than oneevent or section4 – very advanced interactivity; non-linear navigation; ability tointeract with multiple events or sections.Interactivity
Data• Data, for the purpose of this study, is defined as numericresults, times, scores, medal counts, etc.• Assessed as follows:• None• Embedded - the presentation of a limited amount datawithin a slideshow or animation, but does not offer anyor much interactivity with the data.• Data - the presentation of large amount of data, withthe ability to interact with the data or with differentsections of the presentation.
2008 Beijing• Presentations with animations and limited data• Photo slideshows or simple audio supplement
2010 Vancouver• Animations to explain and demonstrate techniques
Advanced Data Presentationwww.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/02/26/sports/olympics/20100226-olysymphony.html
User Contribution• 2010 Snowboard Halfpipe Library – allowed users to submit their owntricks via video.• 2010 Picturing the Olympics – allowed users to contribute their ownphotos from the Vancouver games.
2012 London• Interactivity, data and integration with multimedia andanimation• Abandoning Flash• In 2012, almost half the projects met the criteria for level3 or 4 of interactivity (compared with 23% in 2008 and27% in 2010).
Conclusion• Over time, The New York Times introducedgraphic presentations that were more interactiveand relied more on data• Understanding how data-driven interactives contribute tostorytelling challenge many aspects of mass communicationresearch• content analysis• application of theory• ways in which data is applied in a meaningful setting• Unclear how revenue is to be generated• Interactive presentations have the potential to attract users withdata that is unique and customizable.• Interactivity may aid in learning and provide an entertaining useof media• Metrics that identify time and engagement may influence futuread rates
Potential in academic programs• Few programs have the ability to teach these skills• Vast opportunity in providing these skills to journalismstudents and other communicators• Potential to reach more females to develop tech and dataskills.• News delivery via digital methods is the future, and allparticipants must become familiar with, if not skilled at,concepts that include programming and data.
Thank You!Find this presentation at slideshare.net/cindyroyal