The New York Times wins top prize at Malofiej 16

Post your pictures: SND Update friend Professor Michael Stoll from Augsburg University of Applied Sciences has set up a Flickr group for Malofiej 16. Check it out and post often. Just tag your pix Malofiej 16 and they should show up.

FRIDAY NIGHT REPORT: THE AWARDS

For the second consecutive year, a work made for the internet has been chosen as the best of the contest, and won the Peter Sullivan/Best of Show Award in the 16th Malofiej International Infographics Awards.

The international jury, gathered in the School of Communication of the University of Navarra for the last week, decided to give The Best of Show to the coverage made by The New York Times online edition (nytimes.com) about the massacre that happened last year on the campus of a U.S. university. “Deadly Rampage at Virginia Tech” was chosen as the best infographic work of the year in a unanimous decision by the jury.

The jury also gave 10 gold medals, 50 silver medals and 96 bronze medals both for print and online work done in 2007. More than 1.300 works from 124 media from 24 countries were presented, the highest participation ever in the Malofiej contest.

The Miguel Urabayen Award to the best map went to National Geographic Magazine for “Lives Still at Risk,” a piece about New Orleans months after being devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The award was created three years ago in honor of Miguel Urabayen, a longtime visual communication professor and movie critic, who has been a pioneer of the Malofiej Awards.

Gold medals go to The Guardian, National Geographic, Público, Expresso, The New York Times and Newsweek.

Read about all the awards here.

FRIDAY REPORT

The summit continued today with sessions by David Alameda, Xaquín González, Shan Carter, Larry Nista and Pablo Ramirez. The overview is that most news graphics organizations are demanding skills in online storytelling. There’s an imperative, more than ever, to make things “clickable, rotatable, and audible,” as Gonzalez of Newsweek described it. The interaction between audience and information was a point stressed by all presenters today.

At the end of today, the winners of the Malofiej 16 competition will be revealed.

The number of print graphics submitted for consideration reached a record, up nearly 25 percent from last year. And the participation in graphics online has increased 14 percent from last year.

The Spanish and American representation continues being the majority, but the competition is growing in other European countries, such as England, France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Russia and Sweden, as well as in South America, from countries like Brazil, Colombia and Chile, as well as Argentina, which has always been a strong entrant at Malofiej. Asian countries also began entering this year, with Japan and China represented.

The Malofiej prizes, considered the infographics equivalent of the Pulitzer Prizes, take their name from the Argentine journalist Alexander Malofiej, a pioneer who developed his work to the forefront of the emerging global graphics movement in the newspaper La Opinión of Buenos Aires during the 1960s and ’70s.

Stay tuned for the results.

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THURSDAY REPORT

The world summit started off early this morning with a well-attended presentation from Javier Errea, pictured above during his session today. The guru has earned a reputation as one of the world’s best information designers.

Students and professionals jammed the classroom to hear from the organizer of Malofiej and the man who helped orchestrate yet another World’s Best-Designed Newspaper this year: Expresso from Portugal.

The presentation – “Can Infographics Save Newspapers?” – examined the role that comic books, children’s books, teen magazines and guidebooks can have in the evolution of short-form storytelling.

Errea’s talk has become the talk of the summit so far.

Attendees have been engaged by the idea that different storytelling methods can have a substantive role in resurrecting print for a new generation. As Errea said: “Print is not dead!”

Interaction design:

Alberto Cairo from the University of North Carolina delivered a thoughtful presentation exploring the levels of interaction in online graphics. The highest level of interaction allows the user to explore an environment in which the very experience is the information communicated. Alberto gave several examples, including this site from secondstory.com which allows the user to explore the interior of Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello. Alberto said the the world is full of data, but data is not information. Data needs to take shape to be come information. The best interactive graphics provide the data and give the user the tools to shape it into relevant forms of information.

Magazine graphics:

There was a fascinating presentation by Sean McNaughton of National Geographic, who walked the audience through the evolution of two major visual stories at the magazine. The role of historical illustration at the venerable title and the obligation the staff there has to record with complete accuracy.

Radical change in Portugal:

With a new top editor, the newly created position of art director and a renewed commitment to visuals, Expresso implemented a plan in 2006 that would eventually win the paper top industry prizes, as well as new admiration from its readership. Jaime Figueiredo explained that the redesign of the newspaper simplified the smaller graphics, giving the artists more time to create larger in-depth work that would create visual impact. The work, of course, was honored this year by the Society at The Best of Newspaper Design.

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From a presentation by Renata Steffen, Folha de São Paulo

WEDNESDAY REPORT

Malofiej 16 has begun at the Universidad de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.

The hands-on infographics idea workshops are concluding this afternoon, the world summit is about to begin tonight with an opening at Pabellón de Mixtos, Ciudadela. The jury has finished its work and over the next three days the professionals will share their thoughts on graphics with the audience at the global gathering, sponsored by SND’s Spanish chapter.

Juan Velasco of National Geographic, one of the instructors for “Show, Don’t Tell!” reports that there are participants from more than 15 countries in the hands-on portion of the program, which also includes the multimedia program: “Interact, Don’t Show!” The students have been working since arriving on Sunday. The conclusion of the program was a breaking news exercise.

Tonight, the summit attendees arrive. The opening, usually a fantastic part of the program, will be attended by all participants, instructors and the jury. “The opening cocktail reception is always a lot of fun,” said John Grimwade of Condé Nast and a longtime Malofiej instructor. “The commitment of our hosts here in Spain is remarkable. They definitely make everyone feel welcome.”

Thursday and Friday will be full of presentations, with the winners of the annual awards to be announced at the conclusion of the summit. The Peter Sullivan Award, the jury’s top prize, will also be revealed that evening.

Stay tuned to SND Update to watch it all unfold.