The New York Times has always had a knack for creating some of my favorite interactive graphics/infographics. I remember during the 2008 election there were a plethora of interactive graphics that I used in order to heighten my knowledge of both candidates campaigns. One interactive graphic I stumbled upon was one showing the events that led up to the shooting of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin.

The graphic depicts the route Martin is believed to have taken from a 7-Eleven to his fathers’ girlfriends’ home. He is believed to have walked back from the store into the gated community of Twin Lakes where he was staying through an unfenced section of the community. Below the captioned graphic there is summaries of accounts given by the man who shot Trayvon, Robert Zimmerman, as well as witness accounts, Trayvon’s last phone call, and a summary of the police report.

The shooting of Trayvon Martin has been an extensively covered story in the last few weeks. Last week saw an explosion in the support behind Trayvon when Geraldo Rivera said that the young boy wearing a hoodie had as much to do with his death as Zimmerman shooting him. Rivera later apologized for the comment but what he said created a symbol of Martin’s death – the hoodie. Everyone from celebrities to sports stars to politicians have been donning hoodies in public recently to show support for Trayvon. Among this support have been the plethora of rallies and marches around the country to help bring justice to young kid.

The informative graphic takes all of the stories that have been revolving in the media and compartmentalizes them into an easy to understand package. It not only tells the story of what happened to Trayvon but analyzes what happened afterwards as well. I think what makes it effective is how thorough it is in a small, easy to comprehend package. I’m a huge advocate for informative graphics like these because they make things so much easier to understand. We hear all these pundits in the news expertly talking about situations like this, but sometimes we’re at a loss for what happened at an events lowest level. If we miss the news for a few days we could miss when a story like this broke and therefore not be completely sure what’s going on. And sometimes Googling something can lead you in circles to a bunch of articles with small bits of information that you’re forced to piece together. Graphics like this get us up to speed on all the aspects of a scenario and allow us to be more informed.

Informative graphics like this are one of the best uses of multimedia today, in my honest opinion. Sometimes people don’t want to sit through a video because they just don’t have the attention span. But with graphics that you need to interact with they somewhat command your attention because they force you to click a button to get to the next page or have bright colors than draw you in.

I’m not gonna lie, I really don’t like making videos. In class it’s almost torturous (sorry Prof. Fox!), but I feel that informative graphics like this are something I could get into. I can’t describe it fully, but they have something that videos often lack. Plus, they do a stellar job of holding my attention.

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