Toni Verbeiren


January 17, 2012

There’s a new word in the Dutch language: infografiek. It’s clearly derived from the English infographic. If this is a trend, it’s only the start. FlowingData has a nice overview of different names that are all related to this new type of journalism and reporting which blends data with visuals.

The power of this approach to reporting is that it can yield better insight and understanding. The dangers are twofold:

Firstly there’s the risk of overshooting, of spending more time and effort in using a visual approach but ending up with something that doesn’t improve understanding nor insight.

Secondly (and more profoundly), there’s the risk of oversimplication or drawing false conclusions. That is part of what EagerEyes refers to when citing Jason Moore’s version of the Hippocratic oath for infographics.

Let’s hope the Dutch speaking community of artists and journalists who deal with ‘infografieken’ do it in a scientifically correct way.