Become a Data Viz wiz in St. Pete: April 29-30

Putting tons of raw data in front of your audience might just turn them off. But mashing up sets of data as part of your reporting might reveal a hidden story. You’ll see patterns and make connections that you might not otherwise find.
Who did what, when and where is the arc of almost any story. If you diagram visual elements like place and time, you’ll get to the heart of what’s most interesting.
Is it bigger than a breadbox? Longer than a football field? How many can be found in your county? In your state? In the world?
By helping people “see” information, you are helping them to understand. How can you incorporate visual explanation into your storytelling?
Join Juan Thomassie of USA Today, Karen Yourish of the Washington Post, George Rorick and Sara Quinn of Poynter for two days of visual inspiration. Sign up for the SND Data Visualization Quick Course, April 29-30, 2011.
Thanks to a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, this course is FREE for all SND members! For questions, please contact SND executive director Stephen Komives at skomives@snd.org or SND education and training director Melissa Angle mangle713@gmail.com.
Click here for the schedule of events and more info.

INSTRUCTORS

Juan Thomassie, a senior designer at USA TODAY, is known for his data-driven interactive graphics. His recent projects for USA TODAY include the Economic Outlook Index, which is a new economic forecast based on 11 indicators; the Jobs Forecast, which looks at employment data and forecasts for 14 sectors, for all 50 states and for over 350 metro areas; the Candidate Match Game, which compares your answers to 11 questions on the key issues of the 2008 presidential election with the views of the candidates, identifying those most closely aligned with your views; and the Presidential Poll Tracker, which interactively displays results and trends from hundreds of presidential polls from the major primary states. Juan has worked in many newsrooms over the last 22 years as a page designer, infographics artist, art director, animator for television news graphics and for the last 10 years as a senior designer and online storyteller at USA TODAY. Juan is currently working on more economy-related projects for the Money section of USA TODAY.

Karen Yourish is Deputy Graphics Director for The Washington Post. Karen has been conceiving, reporting and creating information graphics for the past 10 years, first at Newsweek and then at The Washington Post, where she has worked on practically every desk in the newsroom. Before her foray into visual storytelling, she was a “regular” story reporter. She cut her teeth in journalism covering nuclear issues for the kind of specialized trade magazine that can only exist in Washington. (This one was called Weapons Complex Monitor. Seriously.) After graduating from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Karen took a journalism job in Jerusalem. The Newsweek graphics reporting job was pitched as a stepping stone to get into the magazine, but Karen fell in love with the craft and ended up discovering a new career in journalism.

George Rorick is the architect of six different news services for print and broadcast graphics, George has spent his career fine-tuning the craft of visual reporting, discovering talented people and starting businesses from scratch. Oh … and he invented the USA Today weather map. George has spent decades teaching and coaching talented graphic artists. Retired as a faculty member from the Poynter Institute in 2004, George was also director of Knight-Ridder Tribune Graphics Service, News In Motion and more.

Sara Quinn teaches visual journalism at Poynter. She directed Poynter’s EyeTrack study of newspaper and online reading habits, which helps journalists determine the best forms for storytelling. Before joining the faculty in 2003, Sara spent nearly 20 years working in newspaper newsrooms. A judge for the 2011 World’s Best Designed Newspaper Contest for SND, Sara teaches in-house workshops for newsrooms and universities around the world. Recently, her work has taken her to Alaska, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Toronto, Montreal, Brussels, Stockholm and Helsinki. Sara has edited and designed magazines, websites, books and newspapers. Sara has a B.A. from Wichita State University and a master’s in illustration from Syracuse University.