Mapping the news - Breda 2015

 

Project

A comparative between political agenda & news coverage 

 

Overview

Research-led design to represent trends resulting from political news analysis in the subsequent terrorism attacks of November 2015.

 

Context

In November 2015, terrorist attacks in Lebanon resulted in casualties of 43 dead and 240 wounded with ISIS claiming responsibility. The day after, a series of coordinated attacks in Paris killed 130 people and 368 people were injured.

 

Process & Results

In an analysis of international coverage on the attacks in Lebanon, benchmarked against news of the Paris explosions, journalistic bias was evident due to context, scale and frequency. A closer look at newspaper articles portrays a clear discrepancy between newspapers and political agendas.

 

I analyzed 8 articles from 8 international newspapers covering the attack on Beirut to produce a data-based visual experiment entitled ‘mapping the news’. Each article was linguistically dissected into 23 categories: vocabulary of violence, death, countries, religions and other recurrent words. After gathering the data, counting, categorizing and then visualizing, the charts were scaled into posters transforming the written journalistic articles into a data-driven abstract visual narrative.

 

A linear placement of the posters pushes a person to question media filters: Why does the Israeli Haaretz mention Hizbullah more than ISIS? Why does Lebanon’s right-wing Annahar extensively mention ‘France’ and why is the Dutch ‘De Telegraf’ linking its vocabulary to Iraq while ‘De Volkskrant’ avoids the connection?

 

And finally, how can data visualization unravel the hidden layers of news coverage creating an intersection between journalism and design and shedding more light on the unmistakable bias in today's media. 

 

The project was designed during the Master of Graphic Design programme – AKV|St.Joost – Breda, The Netherlands, 2015. 


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