30 years of the Collapse of Soviet Union

Country/area: Brazil

Organisation: Nexo Jornal

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 15/12/2021

Credit: Caroline Souza (designer), Larissa Redivo (web developer), Lucas Gomes (designer), Nicholas Pretto (data analyst), Gabriel Zanlorenssi (editor)

Biography: Nexo Jornal is a online newspaper centered in context journalism. Our team is responsible for data visualization in the newspaper and is a mix of people with very different backgrounds: Design, Geography, Political Science, Biology, Architecture and Journalism.

Project description:

The project was based on the 30-year milestone of the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The end of the country is portrayed throughout the article by charts and maps that chronologically guide readers in the socio-economic impacts on the former Soviet Republics after the dissolution.

Impact reached:

Since it was published in the middle of December, our view over the impact is still preliminary. In general, the project was well received by our audience and had good Analytics metrics compared to our average, considering time of reading, unique views and retention.

Techniques/technologies used:

The first step in this project was data research. For this, the following sources were used: Maddington Project Database 2020, the UN (United Nations) and the article “Recent trends of the population in the Soviet Union (1990)” by S. Kono. Then, Flourish, Google Sheets and R were used to tabulate the data and generate the graphs. The next step was made using Google Docs and, with the collaboration of the team, the content was organized and structured. Subsequently, in Adobe Illustrator, some images were generated and the graphics were stylized. In addition, there was the production of the map representing the Soviet Union and the most populous cities with the help of QGIS and Natural Earth. Finally, the front-end programming part of the page was prototyped and executed. HTML and CSS were used to structure, customize, and make the page design responsive. In addition, these two tools were used to create the ‘accordion’ allowing greater user interaction with the article.

What was the hardest part of this project?

The hardest part of this project was to develop an edition that involved readers and that gradually presented elements with greater information complexity. The chosen graphic elements made the content more attractive and understandable, allowing it to reach more readers.

What can others learn from this project?

Other journalists can learn about the union of three elements that were essential for the development of this project. The first is teamwork and the integration of the data, design and front-end areas for its execution. Communication was key to aligning demands, especially in the home office format. The second is the use of multiple resources and tools during material production. Finally, time management, as we had a short deadline for development, and it was necessary to balance it with other demands.

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