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The Moksha Roundup

Issue #16, May 17 - May 23, 2022

Welcome to this week’s Moksha Roundup! This small newsletter is a weekly roundup of the latest and greatest in the data visualization/design/visual storytelling world. Every week, we compile our favorite projects from journalists, storytellers, and technologists and share them with you.

In this issue, we share great visual storytelling pieces from USA TODAY, Washington Post, and us! If you’re not subscribed already and want to see more in the future, sign up below:

01. Get to know the Houston Budget

By ACLU TX, Data to Dream, and us :)

Get to know the Houston Budget by ACLU TX, Data to Dream, and us :)

We teamed up with Data to Dream and ACLU TX to build a tool to educate people about Houston’s budget and encourage them to contact their City Council members. In June, they will vote on how much money each department will receive for the Fiscal Year 2023.

We think that residents should be in charge of their budget, and that existing tools are simply insufficient. Accessible, simple, and engaging tools can onboard residents to their budget, catalyze civic participation, and make for a more collaborative and transparent city.

Visit the piece →

💡 Want to make something like this? Check out these tools:

02. How America Lost One Million People

By The New York Times

How America Lost One Million People by The New York Times

A group of journalists at the NYT have published this piece, exploring how the country could have prevented the COVID-19 death toll from reaching one million.

By using photographs, charts, and a dot density map, they show how variants of COVID-19, lack of government action, and vaccine hesitancy have played a role in spreading the virus around the country and killing the most vulnerable populations.

The piece also generated some controversy among the data visualization community. It’s worth diving deeper into what advanced practitioners are saying: read this thread 🧵 from Francis Gagnon, this thread 🧵 from Will Chase, and this thread 🧵 from Amanda Makulec.

Visit the piece →

03. Cut Short

By The Washington Post

Cut Short by The Washington Post

Alyssa Fowers and Leslie Shapiro from the Washington Post have teamed up to humanize the data behind COVID-19 deaths.

Every sentence fragment represents a person whose life was cut short due to the pandemic—the reader can hover to view the complete sentence. In contrast to the above piece, which does a great job showcasing the magnitude of the death toll so far, this piece humanizes individual lives that were cut short.

Visit the piece →

How many adoptions fail and why? Here’s what the numbers tell us. by USA Today

The data team at USA TODAY has investigated the state of adoptions and foster care in the United States, and visualized their findings in this interactive article.

The article’s visualizations are included in a video that plays and pauses based on the user’s scroll position, making for a scrollytelling experience that enables a variety of chart types.

You can read more about the methodology from the USA TODAY team here, or see the code on GitHub here.

Visit the piece →

05. Tips for Storytelling 🧵

By Nathan Baugh

Tips for Storytelling 🧵 by Nathan Baugh

Nathan Baugh, the writer behind the newsletter World Builders, has co-written this Twitter thread with Zain Kahn.

They focus on how three global companies—Apple, Nike, and Disney—share the common trait of being great storytellers. They provide 10 tips, from appealing to emotion to keeping it focused, which can improve your visual storytelling skills to help captivate an audience and get your message across.

Visit the piece →

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