the economist
Credit: Image by The Economist

The Economist has introduced a new data journalism page into its print edition to better engage with readers through visual storytelling.

'Graphic detail', which is named after the online home of The Economist's data journalism, will feature one story per weekly edition by the team of reporters at the publisher.

"Data-driven stories make it into various sections of The Economist but we struggle to present them in a visual space within the newspaper," said Alex Selby-Boothroyd, head of data, The Economist.

"The rest of the paper is quite dense with text, but now we have been given a dedicated section to tell a chosen story visually."

The first edition, which was published on 20 October, is based on how private businesses and rising powers are replacing the cold-war duopoly in today's space race, where the publisher's data team have produced a visualisation of every launch from Sputnik to SpaceX.

In a recent public survey from earlier this year, 73 per cent of respondents said they wanted a regular spotlight piece on one piece of in-depth data journalism.

"When choosing a story, our aim is to find something current and interesting but not too newsy – otherwise it will be covered elsewhere in the publication," he said.

"The data team, which was formed in 2015, has always produced data driven stories but has generally only had space for 1 or 2 small charts."

"Online, our readers are used to data visualisation, and we have seen through our surveys that they want more."

It is hoped the introduction of 'Graphic detail', along with other updates such as a change in typefaces, page furniture and revised cartographic styles, will align the print edition’s look and feel with the rest of The Economist’s product line.

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