I do believe using graphs in articles can be beneficial to the total effect of the piece and can also provide clarification and a visual for the audience. Being a visual learner myself, I like to be able to see what I’m reading portrayed in some kind of visual aspect included in the piece. However, a graph, chart, etc. can add confusion and take away clarity from the article and its information. In Environment Is Grabbing Big Role in Ads for Campaigns, a recent article in the New York Times, the graph actually does a good job of showing the points Coral Davenport and Ashley Parker are trying to make. The article explains how this year’s Senate candidates are focusing on environmental issues for their ads. Almost every ad I’ve seen in the past month or so for the elections includes some kind of environmental issue and how the candidate plans to improve it, stop global warming, and save our planet – how incredibly cliché of them. What I didn’t realize is certain ads aim for states that are specific supporters of environmental factors including oil, coal, and the E.P.A. Here is the graph that was used:
(In order to get this graph to show up on this blog post, I had to do a lot of copying, pasting, re-cropping, saving, deleting, re-copying, re-pasting, taking multiple screenshots, and one last cropping. Enjoy the graph.)
I think this graph does a great job of showing the information, and it adds a little extra pizazz to the article. Simply reading the information could be a little boring just because it’s yet another article focused on the elections. However, looking at the graph adds a great visual, and separating the details into the bar graph form was a great idea.
I don’t think adding graphs and charts are essential to every article. However, using graphs like these to portray information that would have otherwise been boring and annoyingly repetitive is a good idea and should be used often in articles like these.