Mapping as Journalism

The other day in class, my teacher brought up the idea of using mapping as a journalism tool, and wanted our thoughts on it.  After searching the internet and dissecting some of those neat interactive maps (like this one, for example) I think I have somewhat formulated an opinion of the situation.

Mapping, at least for me, is an essential tool in today’s journalism. I do not think maps are, without an article or accompanying text, journalism itself.

More of the Robin to Journalism's Batman
More of the Robin to Journalism’s Batman

Some examples of awesome maps that have been used in journalism can be found here, here and even here. I love interactive stuff, it appeals to the ADHD child within me, with lots of colors and stuff to click; I just don’t think if I was an editor and I asked for a story and I received an interactive internet map I would be satisfied. There just isn’t a lot of space on maps to add enough information to really put together a cohesive story, or at least that’s my thoughts on the matter.

My opinion isn’t the end of the conversation, and if anyone reading out there feels differently, I would love to hear it. Prove me wrong! For now, however, I stand by my previous statement: awesome tool, but lazy journalism if that’s what being used as the story itself.


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