ARTICLE: Five ways to communicate networks

Untitled by sethink, licence CC0 1.0

Graphical presentations of networks deploy at least five different “narrative readings”, write Liliana Bounegru, of University of Groningen, Tommaso Venturini, of King’s College London, Jonathan Gray, of University of Amsterdam, and Mathieu Jacomy, of Sciences Po Paris medialab.

The authors analysed 13 journalistic pieces which used a network graphic to convey at least parts of the story. By using these pieces as examples the authors present five types of “narrative readings” – points the graphics attempt to make.

For example, the “detecting key players” reading prominently displays a handful of people or organisations and surrounds them with their supporters, associates or the like and indicators of those connections. This narrative reading emphasizes the amount and strength of connections in order to point out the most important actors within a relevant field, for example in stem cell research (as one of the authors’ examples illustrates).

The article “Narrating networks” was published by the journal Digital Journalism. It is available online (abstract free).

Picture: Untitled by sethink, licence CC0 1.0.

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