#Infographics and the art of political persuasion

We’ve been talking about infographics a bit at Netskills towers recently and one of the discussion points was the difference between clarifying data by presenting it in particular ways and spinning data to get across a message.

This came up on the Information Aesthetics blog today.

Read the post for a bit of background. 

Good aspects to reflect on might be:

  • What is the impact on the viewer of pairing the video clips with the data? What happens when you see them in isolation?
  • Why were these types of graphics chosen? Also, consider the type face, colour scheme etc of the graphics framing the data.
  • What’s the provenance of the data? (Sources are shown on the accompanying Flickr image)
  • What alternative data might be included?
  • What are other ways of presenting the same data in different ways that communicate a different message?
  • What range of factors are at play that might contribute to the changes shown here? 
  • To what extent is any US president responsible for these types of data?
  • How persuasive do you find this?

Also, who is presenting this information? Following the embed back to YouTube you find it’s a group called the Minnesota Majority, “a non-profit grassroots advocacy group working to promote traditional values in public policy” (from their YouTube channel About Me section). What else might we want to discover about this group?

I’m not interested in the political debate here. It’s just a great starting point for a discussion about stories, data, politics and persuasion.

What other open questions would you want to ask students about this video?