Organisation size: Big
Reuters’s work is exceptional. The presentation is engaging, the graphic elements are clean and clear, and each piece is thoroughly reported. In a year when virtually every news organization produced great data-driven graphics about the pandemic, Reuters stood out. All of the pieces entered were exceptional, but the judges singled out Shielded as among the best examples of its kind. This powerful piece of visual journalism helped readers understand why police are so rarely convicted in cases of excessive force. Stopping the Spread was one dozens of interactives in the contest this year helping readers understand the path to herd immunity in the contest this year, but it is head and shoulders above the rest. Reuters’ work simply gets better and better every year.
Reuters tell their most important stories visually. Many pieces follow a narrative driven expressly by visual journalism, whether that is unique data gathering techniques, charting and data walk-throughs, satellite journalism, explainer illustrations or immersive presentations.
Regardless of subject matter, project size, or reporting methods, data journalism plays a major role in delivering stories.
Making data understandable
One of our missions is to make complex or difficult data sets easily digestible to tell stories. Design is a key component of making difficult data accessible. For example, our project explaining the various strains of Covid-19, combines complicated subject matter and a granular database to clearly explain how the virus has evolved.
Getting timely information about the spread of the coronavirus and putting the mountain of statistics the pandemic generates in context for readers is at the core of public service journalism. Our COVID-19 Global Tracker leverages Reuters’ global reporting power to create one of the timeliest and in-depth coronavirus dashboards available. Readers can see global and regional trends, dig deep into their own country, or read the hundreds of headlines generated by our algorithm, fed by constantly changing data.
Another example is the “Shielded” series of data investigations, which show how an obscure legal doctrine called qualified immunity protects police accused of excessive force.
Innovative reporting techniques
The Reuters Graphics team are continuously thinking of ways to push the boundaries of reporting and gathering information. A number of striking examples of this are evident in our coverage of the Australia and California wildfires.
The team are constantly experimenting with striking ways to deliver our stories too. Take our project on herd immunity for example. A custom-built model simulates the impact of social distancing measures and calculates herd immunity thresholds.
Strong emphasis on project design
Reuters pays careful consideration to the tone and subject matter as expressed through the design of the story. Reuters strives to forge a visual connection between audience and content before they have read a single word. The design and feel of each piece often reflects the tone and subject matter. This can be seen in across a range of our work.
Breaking news coverage
When major news breaks, such as natural or unexpected disasters, colleagues from all aspects of the newsroom join forces to work with the graphics desk. Data, deep reporting and powerful presentation create insightful explainers that give the reader everything they need to know about an event in one place.
Our job is to tell stories, and to further understanding of the news. We believe data, design, and narrative need to connect with the reader to bridge this. Reuters strives for this balance in every piece of visual journalism we undertake.
Description of portfolio:
Stopping the spread Reuters built an epidemic model to simulate how the coronavirus can spread within a population. We ran the model thousands of times to compare when “herd immunity” would kick in for various reproductive numbers and under a range of scenarios. The model enabled us to show readers what level of immunity would likely be required in order to stop the spread. Anatomy of Singapore’s outbreak Reuters transformed printed Covid-19 case data into a slick animation of Singapore’s explosive worker dormitory clusters. The piece documents and explains how and where clusters formed. We used WebGL to enable the reader’s computer and browser to seamlessly render more than 30,000 nodes. How the novel Coronavirus has evolved The coronavirus has mutated into several major groups, or strains. Mapping and understanding those changes is crucial to developing strategies to combat COVID-19. Reuters unraveled and analyzed over 185,000 genome samples to show how the dominance of strains has shifted over time. Reuters Global COVID-19 Tracker Getting timely information about the spread of the coronavirus and putting the mountain of statistics in context for readers is at the core of public service journalism. This tracker gives readers a key tool to filter down the firehose using custom algorithms to anticipate the headlines and mark milestones, progress and resurgence in a global and local context in five languages. Reuters independently collects infection and death data from each country, meaning our data is updated every few hours and often ahead of all other publications and dashboards. Australia’s ecological disaster Australia’s government called the bushfires crisis of 2020 “an ecological disaster.” Reuters delivered the first data-driven analysis of fires and habitat data, showing how hundreds of species suffered. Air attack As some of the largest fires in California’s history blazed in late summer, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection deployed a fleet of specially equipped firefighting aircraft. Reuters used a combination of flight data records, cartography, illustration to take an in-depth look at the types of aircraft and explain their specific roles. Patient 31 In February 2019, South Korea announced thousands of coronavirus cases in the space of only a few days, an outbreak that initially pushed their tally of cases higher than anywhere else outside of China. Reuters scraped daily press releases to build a data-driven account of the spread and emergence of patient 31, a single super spreader believed to be the source of thousands of infections. The piece went viral far outside Asia, with many on social media in the U.S. sharing it as an example of what can happen if social distancing isn’t observed. Shielded Another example of strong public service journalism. This data investigation shows how an obscure legal doctrine called qualified immunity protects police accused of excessive force. This project was produced as police use of force was dominating U.S. headlines. Shifting smoke Reuters visualised and animated millions of atmospheric data points to show how smoke from U.S. wildfires travelled thousands of miles east, turning skies from New York to Washington D.C. hazy and reaching as far as Britain. How Joe Biden Democrat Joe Biden captured the U.S. presidency by expanding his party’s appeal among suburban voters, in middle- and upper-income communities and in places where a large share of people graduated from college. On the Republican side, Trump made surprising gains among Latino populations in South Florida and in Texas along the border. We used a Python script to combine live county-level results with Census, Labor Dept. and other data sources for filtering, allowing us to look closely at these margins of victories so soon after the