Recently at PBS MediaShift: Visualizing the Discouraging Realities for Magazines

Yet another goofy Photoshop mashup by me. I am exhausting the Internet's stock of CC-licensed photos of magazines.

Yet another goofy Photoshop mashup by me. I am exhausting the Internet’s stock of CC-licensed photos of magazines.

I have a new(ish) post at PBS MediaShift that also represents my first foray into non-scholarly data visualization.

I really enjoyed trying out a number of tools before settling on for these visualizations of the most recent Magazine Media 360° report, which presents the most recent audience data across platforms for about 145 magazines. The data have always looked a bit odd to me, so I wanted to dig deeper into them and see what’s really going on.

Here’s one of the visualizations, showing the change in audience for these magazines’ print/digital editions in the last year (blue) and their total change in audience across all platforms (green).

In addition to serving as the foundation for this story, the visualizations provide a window into intriguing possibilities for future stories. Allrecipes, Wired, and, well, Playboy all look like they might be doing some interesting things with their online publishing strategies.

I found this project to be really fascinating (and fun, for a social science data geek). I can’t wait to introduce my Multimedia Storytelling students to data journalism in the coming weeks.

Photo remix with images by Open Clips (graph) and Michael Zimmerman (magazines), both via Pixabay and used under Creative Commons license.

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