Ending the Infographic Plague

In: Graphic Design (general)

27 Dec 2011

Megan McArdle critques the content of several info-posters in an article over at The Atlantic". It’s sort of shooting fish in a barrel, considering the infogrpaphics she chose – but I give her props for taking the time to double check the data.

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1 Response to Ending the Infographic Plague

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Mike Stucka

December 27th, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Um. Yeah. Except her debunking of the underlying data is … troubled.

First spot check I did was on the cost of prison vs. Princeton. She links to a press release with a tuition number that supports the graphics and doesn’t use the number she claims.

She claims a cost in New Jersey prisons, but the infographic points to the cost at one particular facility (whether driven by poor design, poor management, higher security levels, whatever, I don’t know) NOT the average. The story clearly supports the infographic, and she’s misleading. I could just as easily claim the number for Princeton is wrong because the average cost of a generic college tuition is much lower.

So on those examples she’s clearly 0 for 2, and the graphic is 2 for 2. I don’t have a clue whether that ratio would hold up on broader scrutiny.

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