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Adding images, sound, story, humor, animation

Data visualization and storytelling using graphics
in multimedia, e-media, and mixed media

"Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive
but what they conceal is vital."
~Aaron Levenstein

The Internet hugely expands our ability to search for text, images, and information. Digitalization allows us to explore many kinds of media on a laptop. New technologies provide new ways not only to explain complex subjects but to make old explanations and stories come alive. VidLits, resembling movie trailers, launched a series of new ways to to promote books. Personal historians are not only helping people write their memoirs and family histories but are producing tribute and memorial videos (check out the tribute to Suzie, an old man's dog). Graphic novels are expanding our concept of fiction. Newspapers such as the Minneapolis Star-Tribune are exploring online multimedia presentations of their big series. All of these changes make the head swim. What new skills must we learn, what new technologies master? We may have trouble keeping up, but think of the possibilities.
The Most Detailed Map of Cancer-Causing Industrial Air Pollution in the U.S. (Al Shaw and Lylla Younes, with Ava Kofman, ProPublica, 11-2-21) Click on a hot spot or browse the map to learn more about the industrial emissions there, or type in an address to find the increased estimated cancer risk at that location.
An Extremely Detailed Map of the 2020 Election (Alice Park, Charlie Smart, Rumsey Taylor, and Miles Watkins, NY Times interactive, 2021) Blue for Biden, Red for Trump. Click on location and get the vote for each. This map has detailed data from 2,523 of 3,143 counties in 47 states, representing 89% of all votes cast.
A Death Knell for Cadavers (Craig Bowron, MedPage Today, 8-30-22) Is it time to say RIP to this staple of medical training? Case Western faculty has found that 3D imaging helps students learn anatomy twice as fast and remember it longer.
Distribution of Household Wealth in the U.S. since 1989 Wonderful Federal Reserve graphics, where distribution changes when you click on different variables (Assets: real estate, consumer durable goods, mutual fund shares, pension entitlements, etc.; Liabilities: home mortgages, consumer credit, other; or Distribution by wealth: wealth percehttps://www.loc.gov/ndnp/data-visualizations/ntile, income percentile, education, age, generation, race.)
Chronicling America Data Visualizations (Library of Congress) Fascinating, if you love this kind of thing.
This Graphic Shows Just How MASSIVE Africa Really is (Culture Trip) Absolutely true!
Visual risk communication: Evidence-based tips for crafting powerful visual messages (Alice Fleerackers, Lifeology, 11-25-2020) This review of tips on creating effective visual aids and data visualization that can help people understand risk gives particularly effective examples from the COVID-19 pandemic. H/T Paige Jarreau, NASW.
Media Bias Chart (Ad Fontes Media) Vanessa Otero's chart shows not only the left-right bias of various publications but also (up-down) the level of reliability. This fine example of data visualization displays measures of news (and “news-like”) articles and sources generated by analysts and staff of Ad Fontes Media.
The Atlas of Moons (National Geographic).
Ten Considerations Before You Create Another Chart About COVID-19 (Amanda Makulec, Nightingale/Medium, 3-11-2020) Excellent principles and examples.
17 (or so) responsible live visualizations about the coronavirus, for you to use (Lisa Charlotte Rost, Chartable/Datawrapper, 3-6-2020)
Coronavirus tracker: the latest figures as countries fight Covid-19 resurgence (Financial Times) Note the sophisticated, imaginative visualization of data.

Information is beautiful Wonderful visualization of numbers.
Just how contagious is COVID-19? This chart puts it in perspective. (Matthew R. Francis, Popular Science, 2-20-2020)
Effective data visualization in the era of COVID-19 (free Stanford webinar)
Sizing up Australia’s bushfires (Reuters)
Printing Money. Data-visualization artist Neal Agarwal imagines various hourly rates of pay as a printing press, which streams dollar bills across the page as they’re earned, as described in The world’s most depressing data visualization? Your salary (Mark Wilson, Fast Company). Scroll to bottom for links to more of his wonderful pieces.
7+1 Recommendations to Become a Data-Driven Company (Eugene Klyuchnikov, The Data Burger: Data analysis for startups, 5-9-19) "To leverage the costs, use different types of architecture – for high-demand data it’s an RDS instance on Amazon or the pricier option of Redshift. For supplementary, but not yet essential data, I prefer much cheaper options like S3."
Amazing Maps of the USA (Lissa Poirot, Far & Wide, 10-23-19) These amusing and insightful maps show strange distributions of usage in the USA: Where the terms used are "soda, pop, or coke"; dog states vs. cat states; the most popular ice cream flavors, by state; adult incarceration rates by state. Fascinating!
This animated map shows how religion spread across the world (Alex Kuzoian, Business Insider, 7-6-15). Fascinating.
Automated visuals with Frames (Global Editors Network, Startups for News, Medium, 3-22-18) "We (the newsrooms) all want more visual, compelling articles that make good use of data. Time pressure in newsrooms, lack of appropriate tools, and information caught inside article silos are all roadblocks we solved with Frames. The keyword is scale: our solution brings simple charts to 50+% of articles you publish. And while we were at it, we also created a way to generate additional revenue."
Big Data Visualization: Review of the 20 Best Tools (Edoardo L'Astorina, Blu Frame, 11-23-15)
Tipsheet: Excellence in Journalism 2017 — Mobile Reporting and Data Viz Tools (Victor Hernandez, reporting from Excellence in Journalism 2017, 9-9-17)
Use of a VISUAL ABSTRACT to Disseminate Scientific Research (PDF, Andrew M. Ibrahim, version 4, Jan. 2018)
•• Infographics in Science Reporting: Why You Should Use Them, and How To Do It Well Data Visualization 101 with Robert Cairo. (Text and graphics by Andjela Djuraskovic, Student Newsroom, World Conference of Science Journalists 11-13-17) Why? It is popular, practical, easy-to-learn, and more memorable than text. Use it to help people understand, not just to represent data. How? Start with free, easy-to-use tools, and slowly progress toward more complex ones. Verify the data before you visualize it: Where is the information from? Who did the research?Are they credible? What were their methods? How big was the sample?
Using Graphics to Tell Stories (Joanne Miller, Nieman Reports, 12-15-01) "Few graphics are as valuable to readers as step-by-step diagrams that we use to show, in detail, what happened and when." What newspapers did to help readers understand what happened on 9/11.
Chart Porn and the PR Condition (Diane Schwartz, PR News, 4-23-18) Johna Burke of BurrellesLuce referred to “chart porn” in a gathering of communicators. "Are we becoming so obsessed with dashboards, data sets, charts, graphs and the like that we are forgetting what we are here to do as communicators? ...There is a growing tendency to overuse data and graphics to prove a point that might not even be worth proving, and to underuse good old-fashioned human thinking and storytelling....It’s time for communicators to dig into the key metrics that matter for their organization and to tell their story in a concise and captivating matter. To get in front of the data and not hide behind it."
The Functional Art (Robert Cairo's weblog on visualization, infographics, and data journalism)
Tutorials & Resources(Albert Cairo, The Functional Art)
As scientists take to Twitter, study shows power of 'visual abstract' graphics (Phys.Org, 5-1-17)
Covering Modern Data Analysis: A Guide to AI and Computational Modeling (Allison Whitten,Open Notebook, 4-20-21) "As powerful as they are, now-commonplace analysis methods such as artificial intelligence (AI) and computational modeling are highly susceptible to misunderstanding and overblown claims. For that reason, science journalists have a particular responsibility to avoid falling prey to hype when communicating about studies that use AI and computational modeling....With a bit of background knowledge, a sense of when it’s worth a deep dive into the details, and a critical eye for red flags, science journalists can accurately bring them to life for readers."
Visuals for science writers (Karl Leif Bates for National Association of Science Writers)
A brief history of the scatter plot—data visualization’s greatest invention (Dan Kopf, Quartz, 3-31-18) The bar, line, and pie charts—the other most popular types of data visualizations—were all invented by Scottish political economist William Playfair at the turn of the 18th century. What may be the earliest known scatter plot was created by a scientist. "You may not fully appreciate it, but the scatter plot has probably changed the way you think about the world."
Visualizing Data: A Guide to Chart Types (Advanced Media Institute, Berkeley)
What's Going On in This Graph? (The Learning Network, NY Times, 10-10-17)
Small Data Is the New Big Data (Marta Bausells, Literary Hub, 10-14-16) Two designers explain why personal documentary trumps the quantified self. Dear Data is an invitation to step back, enjoy, and interpret the imperfect, subjective data of daily life.
Chart: The most common jobs, by age and pay (Stef W. Kight, Axios, 4-8-19) Bubble chart, U.S. occupations by median income and age. Hover on bubbles and visualize the great disparities in income.)
Top 10 Country GDP Ranking History (1960-2017) (YouTube animated chart--watch Japan and China's ranking change over time, especially) See commentary (Jeff Desjardins, Visual Capitalist, 11-1-18, on same or similar chart starting 1960)
Top 10 Most Valuable Companies In The World (1997-2019) (YouTube, a similar animated chart showing changes over time).
How Long Would You Have To Work To Buy A Burger In Your City? (Quoctrung Bui, Planet Money blog, NPR, 4-17-14)
Confidence in U.S. Institutions Down; Average at New Low Results of a Gallup Poll (7-5-22) Chart shows changes and also shows which institutions rated higher (small business, the military, the police, the medical system) and which lower (the criminal justice system, big business, television news, and, at the bottom, Congress).
Half the World’s Population Lives in Just 1% of the Land (maps, Metrocosm)
Scott Murray's list of newsletters about data and visualization.
Who Owns the West? (Max Galka's map, on Twitter, showing percentage of each state owned by the federal government) Follow Galka on Twitter for more wonderful examples of data visualization.
A language family tree (The Guardian)
Making Sense of Science Infographics (Science Friday, 10-18-13, guests Stephen Kosslyn and Gareth Cook). Scientists look for patterns. Good infographics make patterns visible. Think about the Periodic Table of Elements, one of the first examples. ("Use words only to disambiguate.")
Detailed New National Maps Show How Neighborhoods Shape Children for Life (Emily Badger and Quoctrung Bui, The Upshot, NY Times, 10-1-18) Some places lift children out of poverty. Others trap them there. Now cities are trying to do something about the difference. See The Opportunity Atlas: Mapping the Childhood Roots of Social Mobility (Opportunity Insights)
The successful 70-year campaign to convince people the USA and not the USSR beat Hitler (Les-Crises.fr--des images pour comprendre) "In 1945, most French people thought that the Soviet Union deserved the most credit for Nazi Germany’s defeat in World War II — even though the Soviets didn’t play much of a role in France’s liberation, relative to the US and Britain. By 1995 and 2004, however, the French had changed their minds, and were crediting the US as the biggest contributor to victory in Europe." (Survey data from the French Institute of Public Opinion)
Visualizing the Most Miserable Countries in the World (Jeff Desjardins, Visual Capitalist, 5-11-16)
Price Check: How Companies Value Body Parts (Lena Groeger and Michael Grabell, ProPublica, 10-14-15) Body parts/Benefit plans.
How Information Graphics Reveal Your Brain’s Blind Spots (Lena Groeger, ProPublica, 4-20-16) How graphics, including charts, interactives and other visual tools, can help show us our mind’s shortcomings. "What if your doctor told you “of 100 people who have this operation, 10 are dead after 5 years”. Now do you want the operation? The same exact information, framed in two different ways, can drastically alter people’s choices (and does in study after study)."
5 free Web-based tools to create infographics (Bashooka, which offers many such links)
NY Times infographics (tweeted)
The Best American Infographics 2013 by Gareth Cook
Edward Tufte answer questions dealing with information design (Tufte is author of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information See, for example, Narrating and imaging an aortic dissection (Tufte, writing about the story My Telltale Heart (Robert G. Kaiser, Washington Post, 2-29-04)
The Power of Visual Explanations: Infographics Explained (Slideshare by KAP Design and Guelph Chamber of Commerce) Infographic = The combination of visual content, text and data to communicate complex information. You can contrast quantities, show qualities, explain spatial relationships, clarify data, and identify patterns
Show, Not Tell: The Rise of the Infographic (Becky Fogel, Science Friday, NPR, 10-13-13)
The Difference Between Infographics and Visualization (Robert Kosara, EagerEyes, 8-10-10). Among other interesting points: "The visualization is created by a program that can be applied to many datasets, the infographic is hand-crafted for a particular dataset. It’s obvious, which is why it’s so hard to figure out." "Visualization is context-free, infographics are context-sensitive. " Check out his blog roll.
20 great Infographics of 2012 (Visual.ly)
50 Great Examples of Data Visualization (Web Designer Depot, 6-1-09)
Word Clouds Considered Harmful (Jacob Harris, Nieman Journalism Lab). "Every time I see a word cloud presented as insight, I die a little inside." Please compare these two visualizations — derived from the same data set — and the differences should be apparent:"
---A Deadly Day in Baghdad (NY Times)
---word cloud of titles in the Iraq war logs (Fast Company)
Infographics help readers visualize a massive amount of data. Sometimes you have to plow through ads to get to the meat on the following examples:
Obama's 2011 Budget Proposal: How It's Spent Rectangles in the chart are sized according to the amount of spending for that category. Color shows the change in spending from 2010.
Visual inspirations (Visuals for Science Writers). Links to excellent sites showing data visualization or multimedia approaches
Data Visualization: Modern Approaches (Vitaly Friedman, Smashing Magazine 8-2-07)
Murder: New York City (NY Times)
Mad Money (well-illustrated interactive story about Museum of Arts and Design Donors, on Portfolio.com)
Making Data Dance, an Economist story (12-9-10): Hans Rosling, a Swedish lecturer on global health, "has become an online star by using data visualizations to make serious points about health policy and development." Do not miss The Joy of Stats, a 4-minute video clip from BBC4, or No More boring data, a 20-minute TEDTalk video, among other videos available online (including HIV: New facts and stunning data visuals (where he converts the best available data from UNAIDS and WHO into understandable Gapminder bubbles). Go to Rosling's Gapminder website for more videos or info on how to use available software to animate data.
Employment Future: The Decade Ahead In Jobs (NPR, 12-24-09) Roll over the circles to compare 2008 employment levels with those projected for 2018.
Time-lapse visualization of worldwide protest, 1979-2013 (Penn State doctoral candidate John Beieler created a time-lapse visualization of every protest on the planet since 1979 (250 million of them), posted on Ultraculture.org
The Making of a Mac Cover Peter Belanger's time-lapse vimeo on the photography, photoshop, and design work that go into creating a Macworld Magazine cover
More examples of time-lapse video, on Vimeo
Gratitude (Louis Schwartzberg's video talk for TedTalkSF, 10 minutes worth watching). Using time-lapsed photography he creates living images, some of which accompany an inspirational talk by an elder. See more of his work at MovingArt.tv).
•  Information Is Beautiful displays data beautifully (hover on images for more info; click on them for data sources). Credit David McCandless, author of The Visual Miscellaneum: A Colorful Guide to the World's Most Consequential Trivia and collaborators. Some examples:
Snake Oil? Scientific evidence for popular dietary supplements (version 2)
Which Fish Are Okay to Eat?
Are some personalities just better? (Dynomight) Interesting use of color charts. One shows correlations between the Big Five personality traits and various personal characteristics. Blue shows positive correlations, while red shows negative. For example, the blue upper-left cell shows that extraversion is associated with life satisfaction, whereas the red lower-left cell shows that extraversion is negatively associated with autism.
Lifeology online courses Lifeology courses engage lay audiences in health-related science and research via fun, accessible and visual content. Create your own or contribute as a writer, translator or artist. Easy to understand, science-backed courses accessible by anyone from anywhere! Click on "Launch course," then click your way through a series of informative flash cards.
The HBO Recycling Program How the network keeps your favorite actors in Premium Cable Purgatory (Andy Greenwald, Grantland 6-8-11) with visualization enlarged.
Lifeology courses engage lay audiences in health-related science and research via fun, accessible and visual content. Create your own or contribute as a writer, translator or artist. Browse current course offerings.
Information Is Beautiful Several examples follow.
The Varieties of Intimate Relationship
Left vs. Right (U.S.) and Left vs. Right (World)
18 Data Visualization Resources for Education and Inspiration (Infogram, Medium, 10-18-16)
Wikipedia's lamest editorial wars
When Sea Levels Attack!
Visualizing information flow in science (Well-Formed.Eigenfactor.org)
The Fall of the Mall (Leftloft, NY Times, 5-31-09) What does a recession look like? Here’s one view, as seen through retail sales. Color in the bottom map indicats the depth of the drop — or the height of the rise — in sales. The deeper the red, the steeper the loss.
Generic Names for Soft Drinks (by county) (the visual display of quantitative data, showing which parts of U.S. use pop, coke, soda, or another word)


Document Design. These books may be helpful:
Dynamics in Document Design: Creating Text for Readers by A. Schriver
Type & Layout: Are You Communicating or Just Making Pretty Shapes by Colin Wheildon
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (2nd edition) and his other books: Envisioning Information, Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative (and there are others!)

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Charts, one way of visualizing data

See also Chartmakers (software)

How to Choose the Best Chart for Your Data (Alan Henry, Lifehacker, 5-11-12). Love the illustration: "Every time you make a powerpoint, edward tufte kills a kitten." (He also said, "Power corrupts. Powerpoint corrupts absolutely.") See also How to Find the Right Chart Type for your Numeric Data (Digital Inspiration, Tech à la carte, 1-14-09) and Chart Chooser (Juice Analytics). Use the filters to find the right chart type for your needs. Then download as Excel or PowerPoint templates and insert your data. Filters: Comparison, distribution, composition, trend, relationship, table.
Institute for Health Metrics This article-roundup page beautifully illustrates the great variety of ways to visualize data--and it goes on and on.
Map showing which countries have greatest carbon emissions (Global Carbon Emissions) Before you look, guess which countries emit the most.
Representing US: Voter Profile Tolls (APM Research Lab) Voter Profile Tools include Grid by Electoral Power (States); Traditional Map, States; Sort Districts and States, etc. At top, watch various ways of showing data.
How to un-suck your PowerPoint slides! (Dennis Meredith, author of Explaining Research: How to Reach Key Audiences to Advance Your Work.
Announcing the Slide Chooser (visual decision tool, Extreme Presentation Method). That excellent tool seems to be a descendant of EP's popular Chart Chooser, which is also helpful.
Evolution of the English Alphabet (Matt Baker's useful and interesting chart). On the same page, Evolution of the Latin Alphabet. If you have the wall space, you might want to buy his much larger chart, a wall poster: Writing Systems of the World. Or spend time on his Twitter account.
The world’s languages, in 7 maps and charts (Rick Noack and Lazaro Gamio, Wash Post, 4-23-15)
Check the Y-axis when reading a chart (Skeptical Scalpel, 6-27-14)
Chart Girl (Hilary Sargent sums up complicated stories and issues in easy-to-follow black and white infographic charts, which you can download as ready-to-print PDFs)
Ben Greenman's Museum of Silly Charts (I Love Charts)
Telling the truth with charts (Seth Godin)
England's Immigrants Database (1330-1550, Resident Aliens in the Late Middle Ages) visualizations
Six Decades of the Most Popular Names for Girls, State-by-State (Know More, Wonkblog, Washington Post). Watch an army of baby Jennifers take over the United States.

• Edward R. Tufte on PowerPoint. The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint: Pitching Out Corrupts Within ($7), and you can read a sample here of why understanding PowerPoint is particularly important with technical material: PowerPoint Does Rocket Science--and Better Techniques for Technical Reports (Tufte analyzes one incident of flawed PowerPoint, in a Boeing analysis of launch damage to the space shuttle Columbia, arguing that poor PowerPoint design led to grave misinterpretations of Columbia's vulnerability and to Columbia blowing up on re-entry). Go here for links to many more Tufte essays by the author of the classic The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (now in its second edition). Is it worth taking his course? See Robert Kosara's frank review of Edward Tufte's one-day course(Eager Eyes 8-5-12).
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”~Leonardo da Vinci

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Chartmakers (software) Free tools, or free version available.

Chartblocks Design and share a chart in minutes.
Charticulator Requires the use of a mouse or touch screen.
Dataherald, an easy data visualization tool
Datawrapper Enrich your stories with charts, maps, and tables.
Everviz Easily turn data into interactive charts and maps
Flourish Create easy data visualization and storytelling
Infogram Create engaging infographics and reports from your data in minutes
LocalFocus Turn your numbers into graphs and maps.
Timeline Knight Lab's popular tool.
Meta-Chart A graphing/charting and data visualization tool. Tools to turn data into pie charts, Venn charts, bar charts, histograms, multiple bar charts, scatter plots, line charts, area charts, spline charts, pie and bar charts, box and whiskey plots, and tally charts.
SketchWow Create fast, simple sketches to visualize your concepts, ideas, process, workflow, plans, charts.

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Timeline Tools

A timeline presents a chronological sequence of events along a drawn line, enabling a viewer to understand temporal relationships quickly.

Some timeline-building tools:
Aeon Timeline. Build interactive timelines. Model anything from a product roadmap to a fictional universe.
Dipity (Drugal)
Halcyon infographics, including Timeline of the universe and other timelines and infographics

myHistro A storytelling tool that allows you to place events both geographically and on a timeline; also a map creation tool
Office Timeline (Powerpoint timelines)
Preceden Create visual timelines & roadmaps in minutes. See YouTube explanation.
SmartDraw Easy, powerful flowchart and organizational chart maker and drawing program
Sutori Collaborative timeline presentations for the classroom--a student-centered approach equally useful in the remote classroom
ProPublica Timelinesetter
Timeline JS (free, easy, intuitive timelines, a project of the Knight News Innovation Lab)

Timelines of History (links to many specific timelines)
Top 10 Free Timeline Creation Tools For Teachers (Christopher Pappas, eLearning Industry)

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Examples of timelines
16 Creative Timeline Examples (Apptio)
40+ Timeline Templates, Examples and Design Tips (Venngage)
45 Timeline Designs (Bashooka)
Linking (ACES conference 2012) Scroll down for material on timelines.
Battle of the Bulge interactive timeline (Library of Congress)
A timeline of Agent Orange (Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund)
History timelines (Writers and Editors links)
Illustrated timeline for Building Ten at Fifty (PDF) The illustrated timeline for this history of the NIH Clinical Center (pages 8-21) is one of its most popular features--because it provides a framework for understanding all that follows.
How to Use Interactive Time Lines in Breaking News & Ongoing Stories (Mallary Jean Tenore, Poynter)
This free tool will help you make beautiful timelines (Poynter)

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Making use of humor

"I think we all need to remember that there were days when Jeffrey Dahmer *didn't* eat someone." ~ Ron Marz @ronmarz

The One About When Groucho Marx and Dick Cavett Became Great Friends (Chris Vognar, NY Times, 12-22-22) The beloved talk-show host, now 86, spoke about a new PBS documentary that tells the story of the friendship that changed his life. A new PBS documentary, “Groucho & Cavett,” premieres as part of the “American Masters” series. A couple recognized the two men on a New York sidewalk and the man asked Marx to say something insulting about his wife. Marx paused, Cavett told me, then replied: “‘Well, with a wife like that, you should be able to think of your own insults.’"
Dustin Hoffman & Robert DeNiro on Letterman Twenty-four minutes that are likely to make you smile or laugh, and three different styles of humor. Check out also Tina Turner on Letterman.
Some Notes on Funniness (Calvin Trillin, New Yorker, 12-21-2020) Lessons in humor, from grade school to Johnny Carson.
Fifteen Grades of Hay: The Complete Trilogy by Derek the Weathersheep. A parody of Fifty Shades of Grey
How to Write Funny: Your Serious, Step-By-Step Blueprint For Creating Incredibly, Irresistibly, Successfully Hilarious Writing by Scott Dikkers.
A 30 second clip of a cat watching a horror movie (video, Eric Thrapp on Facebook)
"Ha!: The Science Of When We Laugh And Why" (NPR) Cognitive neuroscientist Scott Weems joins Kojo Nnamdi to discuss the latest scientific research that looks to explain why jokes and well-timed quips cause us to smirk, giggle and even burst out laughing.
'South Park' creators' deepfaked Donald Trump web series is eerie and hilarious (Jess Joho, Sassy Justice, Mashable, 12-13-2020) Check out the Sassy Justice series (Fred Sassy, YouTube, Ch9 Cheyenne)
True Facts: Pangolin Posse (YouTube) ZeFrank1's narration (deep adult voice with adolescent humor) seems well-suited to the pangolin's/anteater's physiology. Or do you think he should be more serious? If you like the humor, check out the True Facts science page.
Moose lit up like a Christmas tree in more ways than one (Julia O'Malley, Anchorage Daily News, 12-2-17) Example of a good writer capturing a naturally funny situation well.
McMansions 101: What Makes a McMansion Bad Architecture? (Kate Wagner, McMansion Hell)
A.C.L.U. Defends John Oliver from Stupid Lawsuit in Hilarious Amicus Brief (Laura Bradley, Vanity Fair, August 2017). “You can’t sue people for being mean to you, Bob.” Click on the video and watch it.
The Science Behind Humor: Examples (Kojo Nnamdi show on NPR), snippets from Lenny Bruce, Dave Chappelle, Peter Sellers, Groucho Marx, Louis C.K.
Cloud Computing (YouTube) Simon Wardley's smart use of images, concept, humor in a PowerPoint presentation
Introducing the Book ( Scandinavian humor, with subtitles, about medieval tech support, (MilkandCookies.com, Øystein & Meg)
Anita Renfroe | William Tell Momisms . Video of Anita Renfroe summing up the things a mother says to her children in a three-minute number called "Momisms" set to the William Tell Overture.
How to Write Better Using Humor (Leigh Anne Jasheway, Writer's Digest, 8-9-11) Also by Jasheway: 10 Ways to Improve Your Writing While Thinking Like a Comedy Writer

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Visual storytelling

and Graphic journalism

The Next EV Push Is an Overhaul of the Iconic American School Bus (Zahra Hirji and Denise Lu, Bloomberg Green + Technology, 4-13-23) US school districts are eager to electrify their bus fleets, and billions of dollars in new funding is getting them started. Clever use of bus images to show relative growth in electric busses by state, as well as the distance used daily by a schoolbus, showing its route. Wonderful illustration of how a fossil fuel bus is "repowered"--that is, retrofitted to be electric (costing a fraction of the cost of a new electric bus).
How I escaped a Chinese internment camp (Fahmida Azim, Anthony Del Col, and Josh Adams, Insider, 12-28-21) This story won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Illustrated Reporting.
These 30 Pics Won Pulitzer Prize for Photography and Not Without a Reason (Irmante Sungailaite, Bored Panda, 2021) Be ready and be quick! Some amazing photos.
Rita Hayworth: The life story you may not know (Ali Hickerson, Caledonian Record, 7-25-23) A photo story, Hollywood style.
Incredible Comparisons Show Us Things In A New Way (Laura Lee, LensVid, 10-20-20) Cool comparison images that prove perspective is everything. H/T Katharine O'Moore-Klopf.
Split Photos Show Eye-Opening Differences Between Western World and War-Torn Middle East (Emma Taggart,My Modern Met) Istanbul-based artist Uğur Gallenkuş created a digital collage series, showing the stark contrast between the Western world and the destructive chaos of the Middle East.
The Battle of Midway 1942: Told from the Japanese Perspective Wonderfully illustrated account of a major historic battle and what led up to it.
A helmet has always been a good idea Amusing short video story of Viking hero reluctant to wear helmet into battle.
An Ice-Covered Russian Ghost Town (Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, 3-3-21) Haunting photos make this story.
Faced with a Five-Page Limit, Lawyer Files Cartoon Amicus Brief with Proper Font Size (Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal, 9-5-12) "A lawyer who opposes the Justice Department’s proposed antitrust settlement with three publishers of e-books has filed an amicus brief (PDF) in the form of a comic strip....“His rendering is brilliant—not only is it a not so subtle jab at the court for limiting such a complicated case to five page briefs, as a comic strip, the brief will be widely digestible for the general public who may not have the gumption to plow through a typical legal brief"... Here's the brief.

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The Picture Show: Stories from NPR. See, for example, He Asked Strangers About Things They Regret Not Saying. The Replies Were Cathartic (Julia Weng and Michele Abercrombie, The Picture Show: Photo Stories from NPR, 5-2-21)
Spine-tingling moment ballerina with Alzheimer’s remembers routine to Swan Lake (Video, Classic FM) A video widely circulated of the wonderful moment Marta C. González, a former New York City Ballet prima ballerina living with Alzheimer’s, recognizes the sound of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and responds to it physically. Click on second image.
Post Secrets  Postcards from the heart.
Photos of the Week (The Atlantic) Super photographs, which often tell a story and certainly capture the news.
Overview Views of the Earth (and specific places on it) from a great distance. Wonderful images, photographs.
So You Think You Can’t Draw? A Beginner’s Guide to Graphic Journalism (Jennifer Lu, The Open Notebook, 2-18-2020) "If your science story focuses on compelling characters, depicting their faces, expressions, and emotions in a drawing may grab readers’ attention faster than a well-written description. Visual formats can also give readers space to digest dense information dumps, such as paragraphs heavy on facts or numbers. Detailed explanations of complex ideas can be concisely represented as graphics that give readers an extra dimension of understanding through colors, shapes, sizes, scales, and spatial relationships....Dedicated comic journalism hubs such as or Vox’s The Highlight are great places to look for illustrators, as well as to study the form to better understand how illustrations can enhance stories, help with pacing, and mingle with text to convey more information than illustrations or words can on their own."

     See also Lu's Pow! Zap! Bam! Using Comics to Tell Compelling Science Stories (also TON, 8-31-17) Comics broaden the appeal of science stories to an audience that may not typically read articles or features. Rosemary Mosco, a science communicator and creator of the comic Bird and Moon, says she’s been able to reach people who aren’t primarily interested in science or nature but are drawn to her quirky, colorful comics. In a comic explaining the patent dispute over CRISPR technology, Andy Warner uses large panels and even GIFs to underscore main ideas.
• In After Water, comic journalist Susie Cagel enlivens a Longreads story about dwindling drinking water resources in drought-plagued California with graphic depictions of disappearing groundwater and erratic precipitation.
How to make a visual abstract (Andrew Ibrahim, SAGES how-to video) A visual abstract of a journal article posted on Twitter increased access to and full reading of an article.

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Scandalous Facts About Queen Anne, Great Britain’s First Monarch (Factinate) This mode of luring readers into a story worked on me -- something about alternating bits of gossipy information with images illustrating the people involved.
Sex, Race and Religion Flood the Streets of Washington, DC (Jo Freeman, Public Seminar, a photo essay about winter marches on Washington DC, posted 1-24-19) Get on Jo's email list to keep getting her stories and photos.
How the United States Looked Before the EPA (Kacy Burdette, Fortune, 2-28-17) Fabulous photos commissioned by the Nixon administration.
The True Story Behind an Iconic Vietnam War Photo Was Nearly Erased — Until Now (Michael Shaw, NY Times Interactive, 2-19-19) A celebrated book and a major museum exhibition revealed the harrowing tale behind the image of a wounded Marine. Their version was wrong. Photos previously uppublished tell the real story.
Images of the Destruction Left by Typhoon Jebi in Japan (Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, Sept. 2018) Images really do tell this incredible story.
The Majestic Marble Quarries of Northern Italy (Sam Anderson, NY Times, 7-26-17) Luca Locatelli's photographs MAKE this story.
James Rebanks: How a Lake District shepherd gained a flock of followers on Twitter (Pip Courtney, ABC News, 7-15-15) "I didn't want to do Twitter. I thought Twitter was a waste of time, to be honest. I am too busy, I am working, and then some friends nagged at me to have a go at it and persuaded me to open an account and I started putting pictures of the farm up. One day I put some pictures on and I went out to do my work and when I came back in, hundreds of people had retweeted their favourites and dozens and dozens had asked questions and I think that's what got my curiosity." Now he's published a book: The Shepherd's Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape
Satellite Images May Have Solved the Mystery of Peru’s Nazca Lines (Alanna Martinez, Observer, 5-22-17). Without the photos, this story simply would not work. The photos make the story. Click on "continue reading" to get photo illustrating the spiral-shaped holes (puquios) used for irrigation in the desert.

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StoryMaps (ESRI, here the top Storymaps of 2016)
McMansions 101 Revisited: Aesthetics Aside, Why McMansions Are Bad (McMannearby called puquiosionhell.com, Worst of McMansions). Not so much visual storytelling as visual criticism.
Father and son take same photo for 27 years (David Pescovitz, Boingboing, 7-30-15)

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How a teenager's tweet turned on our newsroom to Storify (Ron Sylvester, Multimedia Reporter, 1-14-12) "Developed with the help of a former AP reporter, Storify was created for journalists by journalists. You take content from the web, via Twitter, YouTube, Flickr or other social media sites, and place it on a timeline. Storify gives you text boxes to write headlines, a lede and transitions. As with any story, the reporter drives the narrative. The quotes are taken from real-time social media. You can even make embeds of specific URLs. The perfect story hit our newsroom recently, when the office of the Kansas governor impulsively reacted to a critical tweet from a high school senior. The story exploded." A site worth browsing, though it seems to have stopped in 2012 with this piece.
The scientific case for doodling while taking notes (Anthony Weeks, Marginal Revolution, Quartz, ) Visual Storytelling: The Art of Paying Attention.
Welcome to Pine Point. If you have ten or fifteen minutes, take a look at this truly interesting approach to storytelling/history, from Canada's National Film Board: the story (part book, part film, part family photo album) of Pine Point, a mining town that existed only long enough to give a generation or two some memories--and was then erased from the map. A key character is Richard Cloutier, a bully in high school who later, severely disabled from MS, issues voice commands to his computer mouse, in developing the Pine Point website. Created for IDFA DocLab by filmmakers Michael Simons and Paul Shoebridge (the Goggles). (Scroll to bottom and click on Visit Website.)
Rat Park, Stuart McMillen's comic about a classic study of (experiment about) drug addiction conducted in the late 1970s (and published in 1980) by Canadian psychologist Bruce K. Alexander and his colleagues.
The illustrated guide to a Ph.D. (Matt Might's wonderful visual that illustrates once more that a picture can be worth a thousand words)
The 24 Best Photo-Essays of 2014 (Fast Design)
Trady Boyer, on Innovative Interactivity (1-24-11), discusses technical details about the use of Flash, of interest to multimedia enthusiasts.
Alternative story forms (slideshow of time-saving story forms, including Q&A, key player summaries, quick profiles, explainer photos, lists, panels, quizzes, charticles, and glossaries.
Find a Story to Hear Wherever It May Be, Katie Boehret's story about a new company called Broadcastr (broadcastr.com), which is still working out the kinks in its free social-networking platform based on location-specific storytelling. Touring New Orleans? Listen to stories told by flood survivors or about where the best Cajun food is.(All Things Digital column, Wall Street Journal, 3-1-11)

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Books on visual storytelling:
Picture This: How Pictures Work by Molly Bang (a children's book illustrator explains how images help elicit emotion in story readers)
Writing with Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children's Books by Uri Shulevitz (a masters class in illustrating books for kids).
Book of Movie Photography by David Cheshire (a guide to telling stories through images)
Thanks to Upstart Crow for leading us to some of these titles!

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Maps and mapmakers

Without geography, you’re nowhere.” ~ attributed to Jimmy Buffett

Maps: Tracking the Russian Invasion of Ukraine (NY Times, 1-25-23) See also earlier story: How The Times Has Mapped the War in Ukraine (Terence McGinley, NY Times, 4-20-22) Graphics journalists use annotated maps to show readers the current state of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Four maps that explain the Russia-Ukraine conflict (Laris Karklis and Ruby Mellen, WaPo, 1-2-22) The maps on most newspaper stories do not give the perspective these maps do. You can see how and why Ukraine is important to Russia. See also How Ukraine Became Ukraine (Ishaan Tharoor and Gene Thorp, WaPo, 3-9-15) How Ukraine became Ukraine over 1,300 years of history, mapped by The Washington Post's cartographer Gene Thorp. Ukraine's modern borders are outlined in green throughout.
All Over the Map: A Cartographic Odyssey by Betsy Mason and Greg Miller. Created for map lovers by map lovers, this rich book explores the intriguing stories behind maps across history and illuminates how the art of cartography thrives today. See also Betsy Mason & Greg Miller (Advance Copy: Backstories on books by members of the National Association of Science Writers) In 1680, an English pirate captured a Spanish ship near Panama, neglecting a trove of unrefined silver but seizing an atlas of Pacific Ocean sailing charts and maps. On receiving it, King Charles II of England made him a captain in the Royal Navy. Betsy Mason and Greg Miller recount this and dozens of other fascinating tales in All Over the Map: A Cartographic Odyssey, illuminating worlds both real and imagined. Advance Copy is Lynne Lamberg's brainchild.
Vector vs Raster: What’s the Difference Between GIS Spatial Data Types? (GISGeography). A more audiovisual explanation: Difference between a GPS raster map and a vector map (YouTube, Nicholas Heidl, video clip, 8-9-13)
The dueling histories in the debate over ‘historic Palestine’ (Glenn Kessler, The Fact Checker, 5-28-21)
Free Vector Maps for All Designers and Mappers (country and city maps for design & print)
Map Resources (royalty-free vector maps)
MollyMaps . Artist with PhD in geography/cartography designs custom maps (hand-drawn, digital, or custom), starting at $200
How creating a map drove a bigger hepatitis story (Lauren Weber, Association of Health Care Journalists, 2-13-18) While the gravity of the situation in San Diego caught national headlines for the nature of the sanitation aspect, we were the first to report the scoop that separate outbreaks were happening across the country, from Michigan to New York — they just weren't getting national media attention. This was more than just a local malfeasance turned deadly; it was a broader trend nationally among homeless and drug-using populations. HuffPost reporter, drawn by data, paints larger picture of hepatitis outbreak (Susan Heavey, Covering Health, 2-15-18) Same story, more public venue.
Vivid maps, with some specials, such as Trumpland and Clinton Archipelago (compare Trumpland with Absence of Black.
Roundup of resources on ancient geography (Charles Jones, AWOL--Ancient World Online)
NatGeo MapMaker Interactive (National Geographic) Customize the fill and border colors to make this map layer your own. Latitude and Longitude: See the coordinates of any place on earth.
Custom Map Makers (CMM) forum
A Grid-Based Mapping App Is Preparing Us for a Future With No Roads (Emma Stenhouse, OneZero, Medium, 1-30-2020) Instead of using traditional addresses, what3words overlays a three-meter by three-meter grid on a map, assigning each square a unique three-word address.
How Google Earth Mapped 98% of the World (Sarvesh Mathi, OneZero, Medium,1-30-2020) And how it overcame device constraints to bring it to your device.
Dirt: Poaching Google Maps Cutting a desire path across Web2. Alek Tarkowski on building a layer of meaning on top of Google Maps.
Mapping the Long Women’s Movement, "an experiment with indexing, using and ultimately understanding oral history in new ways....Selected passages appear on a Google map as markers categorized by color. The map is the primary navigation environment, but users can browse by interviewee or concept, too, or listen to interview passages via a timeline. By adding or removing concepts from the map display, users create their own dynamic visual narrative of the women’s movement in the South, visualize previously invisible connections between interviews, and experience oral history in new ways."
How I made the Montreal street history map (Roberto Rocha). A how-to guide by a tech journalist, about how to make an interactive map; goes into data and coding, which is over my head, but you get a sense of how such a person could make a customized map for you.
Sound map: Accents and dialects. British Library, interactive map and audio, lets you click on a spot on the map and hear the accents and dialects of various parts of England and Scotland (not Ireland!)--one of several sound maps.
Fascinating Maps (Political Forum, a non-biased, non-partisan political forum) For example, countries that England has never invaded; all of the world's internet connections in 1969; "there are more people living inside this circle than outside of it". Most interesting of all, in a way, is "countries that don't use the metric system." Talk about stubbornness!
Historical map websites (Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, University of Texas at Austin) Superb links and many of them.
David Rumsey Map Collection (67,000 high-resolution historic maps)
US Geological Survey maps (historical topographic map explorer). Explained. Or download tutorial.
Maps That Changed the World. Peter Barber, head of maps collections at the British Library, shows ten of the greatest maps, from the USSR's Be On Guard! map (1921) to the London Tube Map (1933) to Google Earth. Fascinating.
Perry-Castañeda Library
Map Collection
. Part of the John R. Borchert Map Library, University of Minnesota
Gazetteers & Place Name Guides, from the Borchert Map Library
Map that shows where America came from (Jessica Jereat, Mail Online, 9-2-13). Shows shows the major ancestry of EVERY county in the United States
Oddens' Bookmarks (OCLC WorldCat, maps and mapping)
The World in Words (Typomaps.net, winner of a design award)
Maps and Geography, Bible History (Bible.history.com) Many links don't work but those that do are worth checking.
Ancient Near East Site Maps (printable, b&w, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago)
40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World (Twisted Sifter, 8-13-13)
Mapping History (British Library)
The Islands of San Francisco (Burrito Justice) Love this schematic map of San Francisco, based on concept "What if each San Francisco neighborhood were an island, and the streets canals."

Interactive Bible maps (IAM, free high-resolution Bible study maps, black and white)
Microsoft Terraserver (satellite images of the world)
New York in stunning 360-degree detail (UK Telegraph). Fabulous interactive map. Click on fullscreen and "show controls" to see your options. Also read this article: Grand Tour of Manhattan, New York, USA where you'll find links to more maps.
When Did Your County's Jobs Disappear (an interactive map illustrating Chris Wilson's story, Slate, 8-10-2009)
The Geography of Jobs (TIP)
Online Interactive Maps (educational maps, for children AND adults!)
Measure of America, measuring levels of human development in various states.
Amazing Maps of the USA (Lissa Poirot, Far & Wide, 10-23-19) A fuller description appears under Data visualization. Maps are very useful for comparing qualities across geographical regions.

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Who finds the book's illustrations?

"Unless you are self-publishing, do not assume that a book project you are submitting to a traditional publisher should come with illustrations," says Iain McCaig, an American artist, writer, and filmmaker.
"Publishers generally want to select the artist or illustrator for a book themselves. They have their own favorite talents and generally prefer to make the final decision on that collaboration. If the publisher likes the text but not the artwork (or vice versa), it is then their unpleasant duty to inform the creators that they want one but not the other. That tends to kill the project, because the author and artist have not put an agreement in place to cover this eventuality, and there is an acrimonious parting.

       "This doesn't apply to writer-artists. If you are both the writer and the artist, Publishers may still prefer the writing to the art, but they have no qualms against seeing what you have in mind for the pictures and are open to recommendations of artists authors would like to work with. And if you excel at both the writing and the art, you are a treasured discovery."

     ~ from an Authors Guild discussion group (lightly edited, with permission of Iain McCaig, who is best known for his work on the three Star Wars prequels.

       This clearly doesn't apply when you are illustrating the book with photos. The author may be expected to provide the photos (scanning the photos to provide a digital file that meet the publisher's specifications, and clearing permissions). Clearing permissions can be time-consuming, particularly if it is hard to track down the owner of a photo's copyright, so build time in your schedule and start clearing permissions as early as possible. See Clearing rights and finding rightsholders, especially Clearing rights in the visual arts.


Illustrations and illustrators

      Remember: Finding a image on the Internet does not mean it's copyright-free. The images you find through Yahoo and Google etc. have rarely been posted there by the copyright owners. Do your homework on copyright and other rights issues. Remember also: "royalty-free" does not mean "free." See Clearing rights in the visual arts.

Picture Books 101 (from Alison Hughes) (Michael Hingston) The basics for children's books, which are virtually all illustrated.
Picture Book Basics - Understanding Format (Part 1, John Shelley, Words & Pictures, The SCBWI British Isles Online Magazine, 2013) Text vs. Illustration, Number of pages, Separate-ended books, Self-ended books, Page proportions. Good basic explanations for illustrated children's books.
Picture Book Basics - Sketches and Layout (Part 2, John Shelley, Words & Pictures, The SCBWI British Isles Online Magazine, 2013) Storyboards, "Boxed, Vignette, Spot and Full Bleed," Big or Small, Crescendos and Patterns, Dummies.
Artful medicine: A longtime collaboration (Surgeon Robert Jackler and illustrator Chris Grallap explain how they work and the secret to nearly 25 years of innovative medical illustration, YouTube video). Text on same topic: Illustrations convey body’s secrets (Tracie White, Stanford, 8-8-11)
Cover Story  The stories behind New Yorker covers. A subscriber-exclusive series, which includes How the New Yorker's art editor keeps the magazines covers fresh, surprising, and relevant. (Françoise Mouly, New Yorker art editor) See also New Yorker covers wall art (for sale).

       Years ago, when my New Yorkers would pile up, I made two framed posters of nine New Yorker covers on a theme (three across and three down)--and gave them for Christmas to Harold Shepherd, who had a real estate firm on Long Island. He loved them and displayed them prominently for years, until they were stolen.
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) If you want to create a children's book, you should definitely join this organization, which has a useful website and chapters all over the country.
Childrens Illustrators.com (search by portfolio) or Childrens Illustrators (search by subject, style/medium, type, or location) or by illustrator's name.
The Association of Illustrators (TheAOI.com) Browse thousands of portfolios.
Hire An Illustrator
Illustrator Gallery (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators)
Illustrators for Hire
Illustration Web (agency representing 150 of the "World's most talented illustrators")
Hire an Artist (hire a cartoonist, illustrator, or animator)
How to Find an Illustrator for Your Children’s Book (Print Ninja)
Graphic illustrators for hire
Everyday Items We’ve Been Using Wrong the Whole Time (Brain Sharper) Imagine how difficult some of these fascinating entries would be to picture if each item wasn't illustrated.
Finding photographs and other images (a long list of resources on Pat McNees site)
Scanning photos and other images (on Pat McNees site)
Photopea, an online photo editor.Do you have a photo and want to change text in it? It can be done quickly online, using this free online editor. See Photopea tutorials, and this review: A free alternative to Photoshop that works in your browser. Plus Learn Photopea.
Secrets of successful book covers and titles
Great covers sell books, but what makes for a great cover?


Fiverr, Reedsy, Upwork (Illustrations on a budget)

I include this here because the information is out there but why on earth would you lowball illustrations, particularly on a book cover. The cover and the title are the two things most likely to sell the book (apart from a known name/brand, fabulous reviews, and a wonderful book). Spend enough to get cover art that will sell the book--even if you're selling it only on Amazon. Think how many books you haven't even picked up because the cover was blah or horrible.
--- Hiring freelancers for self-publishing: Fiverr and Reedsy (Dipa Sanatani, 5-28-19) "Compared to Fiverr and Upwork where the freelancers you work with do generally treat you as ‘just another client’, the vibe on Reedsy was significantly different....As for the prices quoted, the range was really quite big."
--- Upwork vs Fiverr: Features and Benefits of Both Platforms (Greg Digneo, Time Doctor)
--- Upwork vs Fiverr: Which Is Better for Freelancers in 2020? (Alice Jackson, Millo)
--- Plagiarized Content on Fiverr from SEO Writers (William Sen, Blue Media)
--- Reedsy Review: Is It Worth It? (Patrick McNulty, Self-Publishing.com, 4-15-2020)
8 ways to find work as a freelance illustrator (Alex Foster, UK)

Grants and awards for illustrators (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators)
The 10 best freelance book cover designers for hire in 2019 (99designs)
Directory of Illustration
Graphics Atlas (Image Permanence Institute). This online collection compares processes (ranging from the woodcut to modern digital print), compares traits across processes, and gives instructions on how to identify print processes.
Legal Visuals (an interesting portfolio, add the big picture to the fine print)
What the Think Pieces About “Corporate Memphis” Tell Us About the State of Illustration (Julien Posture, Eye on Design Magazine, 1-13-22) We don’t hate flat art, we hate capitalism. The style called “Corporate Memphis,” heavily used by Big Tech companies and start-ups, "has been described as flat, colorful, minimalist, depicting energetic, and gangly-armed characters with long legs and small torsos who are seemingly always on the go."
Women who draw
Paper wigs by Asya Kozina (surely someone can use these beauties to illustrate something!)
Fascinating pictures of the Chicago bean (how does one categorize photos like this?)

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Medical and scientific images and illustrations

(sometimes as part of "explainers")

AnatLine, National Library of Medicine's database of anatomical images, with online browser
Anatquest (visually compelling ways to bring anatomic images,including 3D renderings and labeled views, from the Visible Human dataset to the general public (with no-cost license agreement).
Artful medicine: A longtime collaboration (Surgeon Robert Jackler and illustrator Chris Grallap explain how they work and the secret to nearly 25 years of innovative medical illustration, YouTube video). Text on same topic: Illustrations convey body’s secrets (Tracie White, Stanford, 8-8-11)
Bartosz Ciechanowski Wonderfully illustrated explanations of things like Mechanical watch, Tesseract, and Gears. H/T The Browser And three more: Sound, a Mechanical Watch, and Cameras and Lenses.
Biodiversity Heritage Library 150,000 botanical and animal illustrations available for free download (Colossal, 1-31-2020, with beautiful color illustrations).
Do Black Holes Have No Hair? (Stephen Hawking's lectures animated with chalkboard illustrations, Part 1. See also Black holes ain't as black as they are painted, Part 2.
Doctor Stock (rights-managed medical and healthcare images)
DPDx Parasite Image Library

Fotosearch (medical stock photos and footage)

Human Body Maps (HealthLine interactive online tool)
Images from the History of Medicine (IHM) , National Library of Medicine
Library of Congress Prints & Photographs
Medical Illustration Source Book (The Association of Medical Illustrators, with online portfolios)
over 1 million images and 2,000 hours of broadcast quality film footage.
NASA Multimedia Video Gallery
National Science Foundation Multimedia Gallery
Netter Images (medical illustrations)
NIH Photo Galleries
NOAA's Photo Library
PHIL (CDC's Public Health Image Library)
Scientific Animations (this page about Stage 3 lung cancer is an excellent example)
Stock photos of scientists reveal that science is mostly about staring (Rachel Baker, The Verge, 5-3-16) Sometimes at chickens.
Suggested Tools for Visual Science Communication (Lifeology) Launch a flashcard course and/or check out various types of software for adding visuals to science communications.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Image Gallery (Agricultural Research Service)
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Digital Library
U.S. Geological Survey Multimedia Gallery
The Visible Human Project (NLM)
Why are human bodies asymmetrical? (Leo Q. Wan, an animated GIF from TEDEd, Lessons Worth Sharing)
Jumping Peacock Spiders, Images of

That's what I found when I typed in: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=peacock+jumping+spider+pictures

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Sometimes the text needs visual help

The Maverick Design Choices That May Have Doomed Titan (Helmuth Rosales, William J. Broad, Eleanor Lutz and Bedel Saget, NY Times, 7-14-23) Without illustrations, this excellent article would not have been understandable.

      Titan had several cost-saving departures from proven submersible designs. Unlike most other submersibles, Titan’s hull was unorthodoxly shaped like a pill, which fit more passengers. A spherical hull has been the industry standard, known to be better suited for deep-sea pressures, because a sphere distributes the stress evenly, "making it the best shape for resisting the compressive forces of the abyss. Any other shape, experts said, will tend to deform unevenly."

     The hull’s central cylinder used carbon fiber (unproven but economical), not the more expensive titanium used in other submersibles that safely returned passengers from the abyss. And Titan’s carbon fiber cylinder was attached to titanium hemispheres, creating several joints of dissimilar materials that are challenging to bond properly. "Because different materials change shape at different rates when under pressure, achieving and maintaining a seal in these areas can be challenging."
What’s Going On in This Picture? (The Learning Network, NY Times,9-12-22) Look closely at this image, stripped of its caption, and join the moderated conversation about what you and other students see. Visual Thinking Strategies
Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) transforms the way students think and learn by providing training and curriculum for people to facilitate discussions of visual art that significantly increase student engagement, performance, and enjoyment of learning. "We believe thoughtfully facilitated discussions of art make education more engaging, inclusive, and equitable." Lots of brainy-interesting articles on this site.
Why visuals are the best method of process documentation (Lucid Content) Even if you have been completing a task the same way every day for years, it’s still important to have the process documented. When visual documentation is combined with hands-on training, people learn the process much more quickly. According to William Glasser, an American psychiatrist who studied human behavior and developed reality therapy and choice theory, we learn:
   10% of what we read
   20% of what we hear
   30% of what we see
   50% of what we see and hear
   70% of what we talk about with others
   80% of what we do
   95% of what we teach to others.
When Uncertainty Becomes Possibility: VTS and Creative Problem-Solving (Jessica Hunter-Larsen, VTS, 3-9-21) VTS is a creative problem-solving technique that helps students practice their observational skills and then bring those skills to bear on a problem in their discipline.
How Do You Copyright a Clown Face? Paint It On an Egg (Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian, 5-18-18) Since the 1940s, eggs have been the canvas of choice for registering performers’ unique makeup designs.
Masks Work. Really. We’ll Show You How (Or Fleisher, Gabriel Gianordoli, Yuliya Parshina-Kottas, Karthik Patanjali, Miles Peyton and Bedel Saget, NY Times Interactive, 10-30-2020)   Fabulous use of imagery to convey understanding. Great illustrations help convey, for example,  "how filtration works at the microscopic level." 
Everyday Items We’ve Been Using Wrong The Whole Time (Jacob Gardener, BrainSharper.com, 3-4-2020) I LOVE this long list of practical tips, some of which don't work as well without the illustrations.
Illustrating Text
Image Optimization (Shopify)


Visuals for Science Writing
--- Use of a VISUAL ABSTRACT to Disseminate Scientific Research (PDF, Andrew M. Ibrahim, version 4, Jan. 2018)
---As scientists take to Twitter, study shows power of 'visual abstract' graphics (Phys.Org, 5-1-17)
---Tip Sheet: Designing Science Graphics (Jen Christiansen, The Open Notebook, 2-7-23) As you scroll through text, what has the power to make you stop? Chances are, it’s an image. Color, form, and composition can trigger a reaction from the viewer without significant conscious effort. Science graphics as visual aids have the power to both beckon folks in and provide very specific information. At its best, engagement is followed by learning, which leads to continued engagement.
---What Are Feynman Diagrams? (YouTube video explanation) The brilliant physicist Richard Feynman devised a system of line drawings that simplified calculations of particle interactions and helped rescue the field of quantum electrodynamics
---Visuals for science writers (Karl Leif Bates for National Association of Science Writers)





Multimedia explanations

Common Craft ("Our product is explanation") Check out crystal-clear video explanations, using original, hand-drawn images, by Lee and Sashi LeFever. See, for example, BitTorrent . For teachers, trainers, presenters, businesses.
What does your pancreas do? (Emma Bryce and Bill Keaggy, TED-Ed, one of many excellent TED-Ed originals)
The Greek Crisis Explained in Under 3 Minutes (TEDEd video)
If Our Bodies Could Talk (Atlantic Video series, featuring young interviewer James Hamblin (CJR feature)
Mount Everest in 3D: Experience the Trek to the Summit (this trek ended when an avalanche took the lives of sixteen sherpas)
JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments, the first PubMed-indexed video methods journal in biology)
The Explainer (Slate)
Talking glossary, with audio and illustrations ((National Human Genome Research Institute)
Animation About Mass Incarceration in the U.S. (Visually, Films for Action, brilliantly articulated)
Library of Life (interactive graphic showing human gene mutation from washingtonpost.com story on Gene Therapy and Cancer)
Feed Me Bubbe (video, Grandma making strudel, or Jelly Jammies)
Interactive health tutorials (MedlinePlus). Here is a list of diseases and conditions, tests and diagnostic procedures, surgery and treatment procedures.
Language: What Lies Beneath (NPR audiovisual special)

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Vector graphics, image files, maps

Vector Image Files (File.info). "Vector graphics are made up of paths, rather than individual pixels. These paths can be used to represent lines and shapes within the image. Most vector image formats can also include colors, gradients, and image effects. Since vector graphics store image data as paths, they can be enlarged without losing quality, which makes them a good choice for logos and other types of drawings. Common vector image file extensions include .EPS, .AI, and .SVG. Other image file categories include Raster Graphic and 3D Image files."
What are vector graphics? (What Is) What are vector graphics? Vector graphics are computer images created using a sequence of commands or mathematical statements that place lines and shapes in a two-dimensional or three-dimensional space. In vector graphics, a graphic artist's work, or file, is created and saved as a sequence of vector statements. A vector graphic file describes a series of points to be connected.
These files are sometimes called geometric files. Images created with tools such as Adobe Illustrator and Corel's CorelDRAW are usually vector image files.
What is vector art? (Adobe) Vector graphics allow creatives to build high-quality works of art, with clean lines and shapes that can be scaled to any size. Explore how this file format can offer creative opportunities for projects of every size.
Vector vs Raster: What’s the Difference Between GIS Spatial Data Types? (GISGeography). A more audiovisual explanation: Difference between a GPS raster map and a vector map (YouTube, Nicholas Heidl, video clip, 8-9-13)
Free Vector Maps for All Designers and Mappers (country and city maps for design & print)
Create vector art for Adobe Stock with 7 tips for success (Adobe)
8 tips to help you create better photos for Adobe Stock You don't have to be a professional photographer to be an Adobe Stock Contributor. Discover how to create high-caliber images that appeal to Stock customers. It’s easy to upload images as an Adobe Stock Contributor. But before you agonize over which images to choose, learn what types of images are likely to be approved upon submission. It comes down to a few factors: evocative subject matter, flawless appearance, and some unique qualities. Helpful tips.

Top venues for multimedia journalism, storytelling, and explanations

Mashira Kalman journalism (and that's not all she does, but she's good!)
Interactive Narratives (Online News Association)
Kobré guide to the Web’s best multimedia and videojournalism
Finding the Frame (journalists go here to submit their multimedia projects for review by expert visual storytellers)
Contently Multimedia
YouTube Learning Channels which you can subscribe to.
The Best of Multimedia Design winners (2009), Society for News Design (SND)

How to's of multimedia storytelling

Mastering Multimedia --links to important how-to information, on
---Basics of multimedia
---Equipment, software, tools, and tutorials for working in multimedia
---Audio tools and technology (including microphones)
---Recording phone interviews
---Audio editing software and tutorials
---Tutorials for radio
---Scanning, repairing, and organizing photos
---Video production and editing
Tutorial: The Transition to Digital Journalism (Paul Grabowicz, GradesFixer), excellent illustrated overview and great list of resources:
Guide to Using Alt-text to Make Images More Accessible (excellent guide on The Open Notebook). Resources used:
---Web Accessibility Initiative: An alt Decision Tree
---Reynolds Jpurnalism Institute: Alt-text is journalism: Enhancing your reporting with accessibility
---WebAIM: “Alternative Text”
---This excellent Twitter thread by Patrick Garvin
---Harvard University guide to using alt-text
---“Alt Text As Poetry,” by Bojana Coklyat and Shannon Finnegan
Picking the right media for a story (Paul Grabowicz, dmcBerkeley, wonderfully helpful)
---Databases, Graphics and Maps
Cheat sheet for multimedia story decisions (Mindy McAdams
Anecdote: Making Stories Work (check out this organization's interesting white papers)
pdfPictures, the Interactive PDF Format (your printed material can now become an Interactive PDF eBrochure using the free Adobe Reader)--I don't know how special or good this is!
Digital Storytelling. Using computer technology to tell the stories of your life.
---Digital Storytelling: A Tutorial in 10 Easy Steps (UJ.D. Lasica, TechSoup, The Technology Place for Nonprofits, 2006)
---The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling
---A Guide to Digital Storytelling (BBC)
Memory Miner (John Fox explaining his digital storytelling software for discovering the threads connecting people's lives across time and place)
Capturing and distributing video might be getting cheaper than capturing and distributing words (Mike Shatzkin, Shatzkin Files, 7-17-13). The relative ease and cost of changing print, audio, and video technologies has changed the relative pecking order of various media. Print (which is #1 for preservation) is no longer king, for access and distribution.
Multimedia Storytelling Reaches Technological Heights with Brian Storm. Stefani Twyford, on Visualseer ("Extending art online") reports on an all-day workshop on multimedia storytelling, featuring Brian Storm of MediaStorm, a New York City based multimedia production company. The event, held Saturday March 22, 2010, was organized by Facebook and Twitter.FotoFest. "Storm’s basic premise in multimedia production is that “Audio is king.” By this he means that if you have good audio and bad photographs, you still have a movie. If you have bad audio and good photographs, there’s not much you can do to produce a video. "
The importance of words in multimedia storytelling (Jacqueline Marino, Nieman Storyboard, 4-21-10)

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Books about multimedia storytelling

Videojournalism: Multimedia Storytelling by Kenneth Kobré
Picture This: How Pictures Work by Molly Bang (a children's book illustrator explains how images help elicit emotion in story readers)
Writing with Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children's Books by Uri Shulevitz (a masters class in illustrating books for kids).
Book of Movie Photography by David Cheshire (a guide to telling stories through images)
Thanks to Upstart Crow for leading us to these titles!

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Digital and documentary photography

Finding Vivian Maier (YouTube movie, 1.23 hr, with transcript) Who is Vivian Maier? Now considered one of the 20th century's greatest street photographers, Vivian Maier was a mysterious nanny who secretly took over 100,000 photographs that went unseen during her lifetime. Since buying her work by chance at auction, amateur historian John Maloof has crusaded to put this prolific photographer in the history books. Maier's strange and riveting life and art are revealed through never-before-seen photographs, films, and interviews with dozens who thought they knew her.
This Tiny Country Feeds the World (National Geographic Magazine (Sept. 2017) The Netherlands has become an agricultural giant by showing what the future of farming could look like. Remember when National Geographic was a small journal-like magazine with photos? Look at its visual spectaculars online now.
Gratitude (Louis Schwartzberg's video talk for TedTalkSF, 10 minutes worth watching). Using time-lapsed photography he creates living images, some of which accompany an inspirational talk by an elder. See more of his work at MovingArt.tv).
The Photos that Exposed American Child Labor (Ella Morton, Atlas Obscura, 4-6-16) From 1908 to 1924, Lewis Hine collected visual evidence of the nation's youngest workers. Wonderful photos.
TED film guru gives students tips on filming presentations (TEDEd, 11-25-14)
The Disappearing Double Chin Trick for Portrait Photography (EDW Lynch, LaughingSquid.com, 7-18-12). Photographer Peter Hurley demonstrates how to take more flattering portraits by having the subject adjust their head position slightly in order to accentuate the jawline (and remove the “double chin”). About 7 minutes into the video, Hurley shows a series of comparison photos—the difference is remarkable.
Documentary Photography – Six Tips for Creating a Legacy (Darlene Hildebrandt, Digital Photography School)
Themed Engagement Shoots (Christina N Dickson, Digital Photography School)
The Illicit Spelunker Capturing Underground Scenes at Chernobyl (Kate Brown, Atlas Obscura, 4-11-16) Photos from the most hazardous part of the infamous Reactor No. 4.
LENS, the excellent New York Times blog on photography, video, and visual journalism (including this entry: From North Korea, an Altered Procession (in which J. David Goodman shows how North Korea's state news agency digitally altered photos transmitted to the world)
Believing Is Seeing: Observations on the Mysteries of Photography, a book by by Errol Morris, brings together six essays (each about a photograph or group of photographs) that originally appeared on The New York Times‘ Opinionator blog. In an interesting review, Shaun Mullen (on The Moderate Voice writes that a good many books "tread the same path as does Morris, but where Believing Is Seeing parts company with them is that Morris muses on where in a photograph does the truth lie? And is the truth altered if a photograph is posed." Note that first photo on the Mullen review.
Digital Imaging Guidelines (guidelines prepared by the UPDIG Coalition, to establish photographic standards and practices for photographers, designers, printers, and image distributors). The guidelines cover Digital Asset Management, Color Profiling, Metadata, and Photography Workflow.
Full Frame: The culture of death. Photographer Brian L. Frank visits Mexico's most notorious barrios, where death is the only truth in life (Global Post).
Tips and Tutorials (Digital Photography School)
Tips about post-production (Digital Photography School)

Useful collections
Library of Congress Prints & Photographs
NIH Photo Galleries
NOAA's Photo Library
See Scientific and medical illustrations
Bing (visual search galleries)

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Audio and music for multimedia projects

Louis Armstrong and Danny Kaye (Sonny Radio, When the Saints Go Marching In)
Is the music industry's future on the blockchain? (Casey Newton, Platformer, 11-23-21) Royal's Justin Blau and Paradigm's Fred Ehrsam on how selling royalties directly to fans could end predatory record deals. The idea with the startup called Royal is to take the traditional record industry model, in which the label might keep 80 percent of all future royalties, and flip it to one where the artist keeps 80 percent. The potential for more consumer applications of crypto has been apparent since Ethereum was created. At one point the record label doesn’t necessarily need to be a part of it at all.
Streaming Services Have 99 Problems. And They Are… (Paul Resnikoff, Digital Music News, 6-20-13). This may be the year that streaming music slayed the download. But can streaming overcome its worst enemy, itself?
As glaciers literally crumble around him, a pianist plays an elegy for the Arctic (pianist Ludovico Einaudi plays an elegy on a grand piano floating past the Wahlenbergbreen glacier in Svalbard, Norway--david@vox.com)
The Music Industry Has 99 Problems. And They Are… (Paul Resnikoff, Digital Music News, 12-20-12)
Gibbon singing behavior (Gibbon sound gallery, Gibbon Research Lab)
Sources for music, images, video clips, and related materials, including preservation resources (Pat McNees, Telling Your Story)
Bit by Electronic Bit, a Cantor’s Voice Is Restored. Joseph Berger (NYTimes 7-20-10) on how a 52-year-old non-techie Hasidic Jew who runs a record shop in Brooklyn, with advice from some experts, used advanced audio restoration programs on a regular computer to get rid of the crackles and hisses in old recordings of a "Jewish Caruso," a "Cantor for the Ages."

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Songwriting and Songwriters (articles and books)

Musicians have been the canary in the coal mine on writers being forced to give away their work (to terrestrial radio) for no compensation. If you feel that the government forcing creators to receive no payment or set payment that they cannot negotiate is a bad precedent, support the American Music Fairness Act. Urge your Representatives to Support the American Music Fairness Act (HR 4130) Creators should support one another. (H/T Rowena Cherry)


How Songwriters Get Paid (Nashville Songwriters) Songwriters are paid via 3 royalty streams: Mechanical Royalty (from the sale of a song on an album or a legal digital download); from a Performance Royalty (when their song is performed on terrestrial broadcast radio, in a live performance venue, or via online streaming services); and Synch Fees (when their song is licensed for use to synchronize with video--i.e. television, movie, YouTube video). And the federal government says that the songwriter must receive royalties (and be taxed on them) immediately after they are collected.
Songwriters Are Getting Drastically Short-Changed in the Music-Streaming Economy, Study Shows (Jem Aswad, Variety, 4-19-21) See also Inside the Dirty Business of Hit Songwriting (Aswad, Variety, 4-7-21) Elvis Presley's "team set up an arrangement whereby the King skipped the credit but received one-third of the songwriting royalties for each song he released, no matter who wrote it."
Meet Mary Steenburgen, Songwriter (Bruce Fretts, NY Times, 1-9-21) 'The actress has quietly been working in music for the last dozen years, and a tune she helped write for “Wild Rose” has made the Oscar shortlist....People said, “You already have a career. Why are you doing this?”... If you’re lucky enough to be alive, why would you creatively kill yourself off? Why not say yes to all of it at any age?"

Songwriters on Process Ben Opipari interviews songwriters and the occasional poet across a variety of genres, emphasizing indie, alt-country, singer-songwriter, and Americana music (and some metal for good measure). He explores the songwriting process from beginning to end, from inspiration to revision.
Thirteen ways musicians make money (TuneCore)
Taylor Swift’s Quest for Justice (Carrie Battan, New Yorker, 11-17-21) With “Red (Taylor’s Version),” Swift seeks to reclaim control in her business affairs and in matters of the heart. Her rereleases seem designed to punish her transgressors and fortify her legacy.
Songwriter U: What Can We Learn About Copyrights, Contracts From Taylor Swift (American Songwriter, 4-21-21). As the writer of the majority of her songs, Taylor Swift is the owner of the composition rights to her first six studio albums. However, Big Machine Label Group, Taylor’s former record label, owned the rights to the masters of her first six studio albums before selling them to Shamrock. That's how the trouble began<
Dolly Parton invested Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ cover royalties in Black community (Kim Bellware, WashPost, 7-31-21) “I Will Always Love You” stands as one of Dolly Parton’s most successful songwriting credits, a tune that became a global phenomenon when it was covered by Whitney Houston for the 1992 film “The Bodyguard.” Parton wrote the song in 1973. She earned at least $10 million from it in the 1990s, Forbes estimated last year. Parton’s version was a country music success, reaching No. 1 on Billboard’s country charts twice — first in 1974 and again in 1982 when she rerecorded a version for the soundtrack to “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.” It almost wasn't used in "The Bodyguard." See also What We Can Learn From Dolly Parton’s Business Savvy and Her $1 Million Donation to the Moderna Vaccine to Fight Covid-19 (Forbes, 11-18-20)

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In Conversation: Billy Joel (David Marchese, Vulture, July 2018) Billy Joel talks about performing in his late 60s, why he stopped writing songs, the problems inherent in not owning your own recordings, and his opinion of the state of America today.
Songwriting Advice from 10 Grammy-Nominated Songwriters (Nora Tirrell, Take Note series, Berklee Online)
Songwriting Technique (Tom Hess, a series of lessons)
Interviews (American Songwriter)
‘Blurred Lines’ on Their Minds, Songwriters Create Nervously (Ben Sisario, NY Times, 3-31-19) "Four years after the copyright trial over that No. 1 song — in which Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, its primary writers, were ordered to pay more than $5 million for copying Marvin Gaye’s disco-era hit “Got to Give It Up” — the case still looms over the music industry and individual songwriters, who were left to wonder when homage bleeds into plagiarism....Most accusations of plagiarism never go before a judge. Instead, they are settled quietly — and often protected with confidentiality agreements — with the results evident only in the fine print of writing credits."
We Compared ‘Taylor’s Version’ Songs With the Original Taylor Swift Albums (Kyle Kim, Wall Street Journal, 11-12-21) The same song. The same artist. Two different copyright owners. Can you hear the difference? H/T Nate Hoffelder: "Writers are lucky that they don't have to deal with copyright as it affects music, where you can own the govt-granted monopoly rights to a song but not the rights to the recording of said song."
The 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time (Rolling Stone, 8-12-15) From Brill Building tunesmiths to punk poets, from Woody Guthrie to Max Martin, the visionaries who defined music history.
‘American Idol’: Massachusetts native Scarlet creates ‘alter egos’ to help her ‘really get into character’ when songwriting (Heather Morrison, Mass Live, 3-28-22) “I don’t think we made a mistake last time,” judge Katy Perry said during the audition. “I think you need to pick songs that stir emotion.”
Interview With Yusuf/Cat Stevens, Legendary Singer/Songwriter ( Dale Kawashima, Songwriter Universe, 5-28-19)
Great Songwriters on the Greatest Songs: Randy Newman on “The Needle & The Damage Done” by Neil Young (American Songwriter interview)
Songwriter Universe

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American Songwriter ("The Craft of Music")
The Guild of International Songwriters & Composers Email: gisc@songwriters-guild.co.uk
International Songwriters Association (ISA)
Ivors Academy as of March 2019. Before that (most recently) the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) and others.
Songwriters Guild of America (SGA)

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) A performing rights organization.
BMI (Broadcast Music Inc)
The Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC)


Associations & Organizations for Songwriters
(Songwriters Resource Network, directory organized by state)
Directory of songwriters organizations (The Muse's Muse)
Organizations Supporting Composers & New Music (Composers Forum)
Songwriters Resource Network (SRN)

Confessions of a Serial Songwriter by Shelly Peiken, a Grammy-nominated songwriter
The Songwriter's Survival Guide by Judy Stakee (foreword by Sheryl Crow)
Paul Simon: The Life by Robert Hilburn
Craft and Business of Songwriting (3rd edition), by John Braheny
Songwriters On Songwriting ed. by Paul Zollo (candid interviews with the greatest songwriters of our time, including Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson, Patti Smith, Paul Simon, Tom Petty, Alanis Morissette, Lenny Kravitz, Lou Reed, and dozens more)
Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting: 126 Proven Techniques for Writing Songs That Sell by Robin A. Frederick
The Songwriting Sourcebook: How to Turn Chords into Great Songs by Rikky Rooksby
I Wrote That One, Too ...: A Life in Songwriting from Willie to Whitney by Steve Dorff with Colette Freedman
Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe
Writing Better Lyrics by Pat Pattison
Shortcuts to Songwriting for Film & TV: 114 Tips for Writing, Recording, & Pitching in Today's Hottest Market by Robin Frederick
TuneSmith: Inside the Art of Songwriting by Jimmy Webb (autobiography and craft, mixed)
This will get you started anyway. What have we missed that's worth recommending?

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Cartoons, comics, anime, manga,
panel stories, graphic novels, humor, and animation

See also
---Cartoonists, humor writing, comic book writers, comedians
---Cartoon caption and gag writing
---Q&As with cartoonists

Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels by Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
Kids Comics Unite (H/T Cara Stevens) A collective of experienced graphic novelists and cartoonists led by agent/editor Janna Morishima.
The Oatmeal Comics and games by Matthew Inman. Do check out the blog.
Emoji Supply Kitchen
National Cartoonists Society (born in 1946 when groups of cartoonists got together to entertain the troops)
The Groundbreaking Female Artist Who Shaped Manga History (Gabrielle Bellot, The Atlantic, 8-5-2020) A new collection introduces English-speaking audiences to an overlooked Japanese cartoonist, Kuniko Tsurita, who smashed both gender and genre norms during her short life. Her short stories in English: The Sky Is Blue with a Single Cloud
What Are Light Novels? How a Niche Format Is Taking over the Publishing World (Cole Salao,TCKs) A light novel is a short Japanese-style novella. A lot of them contain manga illustrations but are still considered prose. Alternative names include ranobe or LN. They contain many of the elements that manga and anime fans love. Slapstick comedy, distinct art style, cute characters, idealized concepts, and over-the-top actions and reactions.Light novels are usually, but not always, shorter than full-length novels.
Animating Beethhoven's 5th (in ways Beethoven surely would not have anticipated). Be sure to turn audio on and up. Good job, Alexander Loureiro.
Feline King Kong Attacks New York (Dr. Frank Heynick). Live cat, rat, and house interact with elaborate miniature New York City.

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New Yorker Cartoon Editor Explores What Makes Us Get It (NPR, 3-24-14). Bob Mankoff has been contributing cartoons to The New Yorker ever since 1977 and now, as cartoon editor, he evaluates hundreds of cartoons. Read his book: How About Never--Is Never Good for You?: My Life in Cartoons by Bob Mankoff. "He allows us into the hallowed halls of The New Yorker to show us the soup-to-nuts process of cartoon creation, giving us a detailed look not only at his own work, but that of the other talented cartoonists who keep us laughing week after week."
Cartoonize your photo Fiverr posts handmade cartoons made starting at just $5.
Roger Ebert Wins the Cartoon Caption Contest (Bob Mankoff, New Yorker, 4-25-11). Read more Mankoff columns on
Bob Mankoff Memorandums on humor from the cartoon editor sometimes with Colin Stokes.
Opp Art: Artistic Dispatches from the Front Line of Resistance (curated with a progressive and political point-of-view, a Nation series celebrating the art of protest)

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The Serious Side of Comedy (Ross Ufberg, Pacific Standard), a review of The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels and the History of American Comedy by Kliph Nesteroff. "The once-long arms of traditional censorship have been clipped by the possibilities of consumption among stiff, and multitudinous, competition. The idea of a “mainstream” audience has now forked into a thousand rivulets." You can watch online the 1971 Woody Allen satire mentioned: Men of Crisis The Harvey Wallinger Story (YouTube).
The Story of a Generation (Gary Trudeau, The Atlantic, Oct 2010) The cartoonist Garry Trudeau discusses his characters and how they've grown up, in a passage adapted from his book 40: A Doonesbury Retrospective..

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My Aunties: Lessons in love during an epidemic. (Stefan Lynch and Beth Teper, Storycorps, 12-3-2010) Stefan Lynch was raised by gay parents in the early eighties. He was cared for and loved by a group of adults, largely gay men, who he called his “aunties.” Stefan remembers the succession of AIDS-related illnesses in his family, including the death of his father in ‘91. Even in the face of terrible sickness and loss, his aunties showed him how to survive and care for one another. See also The interview that was based on.
Powerful Mike Luckovich cartoon, remembering 9/11
Rare interview with Bill Watterson, creator of "Calvin and Hobbes." (Jake Rossen, Mental Floss, 12-2013, updated 6-7-14).
The Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson (boxed set)
Seeing in New Dimensions (Kaitlin Mulhere, Inside Higher Education, 3-17-15) Nick Sousanis earned his Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies from Teachers Coll. ege Columbia University, where he produced his dissertation entirely in comics form. The book version, Unflattening , will be published in April 2015 by Harvard University Press..Tweeted as "Comic book dissertation demonstrates capacity of picture writing.@InsideHigherEd. See also In Print: Threads Postmodern Fable (Spin Weave & Cut, 2-13-15), the author, talking about Unflattening.

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Burning Questions for James Sturm, Center for Cartoon Studies Director (Edie Everette, Pyragraph, 2-10-14)
Chris Ware, The Art of Comics No. 2 (Jeet Heer, interviewer, The Paris Review, Fall 2014). Read free online.
R. Crumb, The Art of Comics No. 1 (Ted Widmer, interviewer, The Paris Review, Summer 2010).
James Sturm Discusses Art and the Future of Cartooning (Emily Lau, Swarthmore Daily Gazette, 3-4-14)
Picture This (Nick Mamatas, Village Voice, 1-10-06) Talking with James Sturm, co-founder of the nation's first school for cartoon studies.
Crowson blog (just for fun)
What Makes a Comic Work in Health Care? (Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation)
The Core of Story (Erin Polgreen, Nieman Reports, Spring 2014) How comics can enhance reader engagement and bring new audiences to narrative nonfiction
"Calvin and Hobbes" creator Bill Watterson involved in new project (Ray Jablonski), on the documentary “Stripped” reaching its fundraising goal of $58,000 on Kickstarter.

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Cartooning for a Sustainable Future (Alysia Santo, Columbia Journalism Review, 2-15-12). Will editorial cartoonists find their (paid) place on the web?
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), with excellent links to resources
Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (Ohio State University Libraries)
How you (and other animals) breathe, in one beautiful GIF (Joseph Stromberg, Vox, 10-27-14)
Cartoons in history (Ken Ackerman's Viral History links to images and articles)
List of notable cartoonists (Wikipedia, listed as in animation, in cartoon strips, single panel cartoons, of comic books, of action/superhero comic books, with links to lists in other categories)
Cartoon Resource (stock cartoons for PowerPoint presentations, etc.)
Cartoon Stock
Comic Strip Generator
50 of the best 2-D animation tools (selected and annotated by Bryan Lim, Sage Animation--he seems to know what he's talking about).
Forgetfulness , animated Billy Collins poem
Animator vs. Animation (Alan Becker, Deviantart.com)

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Animations (New Yorker). Seen more easily on YouTube
In Love with A. Lincoln (a panel story by Maira Kalman, And the Pursuit of Happiness blog, NY Times, 2-26-09)
HEMA. A seriously cool dynamic product page for a Dutch department store. Wait 15-20 seconds till after the page loads and watch what happens next.
Cog (the brilliant Honda Accord all-physics commercial, in which a cog sets off a chain reaction of component parts of a Honda, said to have been made without any computer augmentation)
The Adventures of Comma Boy by Keith Cronin (a comic strip for aspiring writers, agents, publishers, and publishing fantasizers, featured in Publishers Marketplace. Comma Boy archives here.
Anime News Network (the Internet's most trusted anime news source)
The Man Behind "The Muppets" (video of Today Show interview with Brian Jones, author of Jim Henson: The Biography
Dllbert Cartoons on Mission Statements

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The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker, edited by by Robert Mankoff, Adam Gopnik, intro by David Remnick.
• Autobiographical comics. A light that never goes out , a great example of autobiographical comics by Lucy Knisley, author of Relish: My Life in the Kitchen
Drawing Power (Bob Thompson's long Washington Post story on SPLAT! A Graphic Novel Symposium, or Prose Guy on "how this formerly ghettoized medium became one of the rare publishing categories that's actually expanding")
Comics and Graphic Novels (NPR's annotated reading list
Graphic Novels to Graphic Prime Time: Proposing TV Adaptations of Comic Books (Dana Jennings, Television, NY Times, 2-14-14)
Graphic novels (Goodreads list)
How Graphic Novels Became the Hottest Section in the Library (Heidi MacDonald, Publishers Weekly, 5-3-13)
Graphic novels (American Library Association wiki advisory)

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Producing artful books

Dipity (lets you create timelines)
Down With Helvetica: Design Your Own Font (Peter Wayner, Personal Tech, NY Times, 6-26-08) Software developers are creating tools that simplify font design--for example, letting the user produce fonts from handwriting samples.
The Extraordinary World of Ex Libris Art (fabulous bookplates, worth more than the books containing them), from
Dark Roasted Blend (weird and wonderful things)
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Multimedia software

You can download free (on the Web) most of the software you need to watch video online. At a minimum you probably need Adobe Reader, RealPlayer, and Flash or their equivalents. Download them from a government site and they're likely to be safe!

15 things journalists (and everyone) need to know about digital security (Poynter, 8-29-13). Most of the protocols that make up the Internet — including HTTP (the Web), FTP (file transfers) and SMTP (email) — aren’t secure. Read what you need to know.
JournalistsToolbox.ai Scrape data, analyze it, and create stunning visualizations with AI tools and plug-ins.
How to Use Adobe Firefly for Illustrations (Mike Reilley, JournalistsToolbox.ai, 7-25-23)
C/net (good site for finding reviews of various kinds of technology, including software--find reviews for camcorders, car tech, cell phones, desktops, digital cameras, home audio, home video, laptops, MP3 players, printers, software & apps, tablets, televisions)
Software ratings (FileInfo.com) A good place to see how much software there is to choose from (which is both good and bad).
Adobe (site from which to download Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash Player and Shockwave Player safely, free). Paid Adobe software includes many programs important to multimedia: Dreamweaver, InDesign, Photoshop
Adobe Forums (a community of creative experts--meet, ask, and follow their discussions, or ask for help). There are forums for Adobe Flash Player, Reader, Illustrator, Flash, Acrobat, Dreamweaver, Marketing Cloud, Livecycle, Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Premier Pro, Creative Cloud, Flex SDK and Flash Builder, Connect, Photoshop Lightroom, and InDesign. (InDesign is standard for designing books, but there is a learning curve.) There's also an Adobe Captivate forum.
Real Player (bookmark or download and play videos and music)
A Beginner's Training Guide to Filmmaking with Premiere Pro (Jonathan O'Brien, CertStaff.com)
Adobe® Reader® software is the free global standard for reliably viewing, printing, and commenting on PDF documents.
Adobe Reader X (the only free PDF file viewer that lets you open and interact with all types of PDF content, including forms and multimedia.
Layers Magazine, a how-to magazine for everything Adobe, with tutorials and columns that often analyze and illustrate design makeovers.
Adobe® Flash® Player is a lightweight browser plug-in that delivers good audio/video playback and gameplay.

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File extensions

A file extension is the suffix at the end of a digital filename, after the dot, which indicates what kind of file it is--e.g., .doc for document)

FileInfo.com, a searchable database of thousands of file extensions with detailed information about the associated file types. You can use FileInfo.com to look up information about unknown file types and find programs that open the files. Along the left you'll find categories of common file types: text files, data files, audio files, 3D image files, raster image files, vector image files, page layout files, spreadsheet files, executable files, game files, CAD files, GIS files, Web files, Plugin files, font files, system files, settings files, encoded files, compressed files, disk image files, developer files, backup files, and misc. files. Who knew?? Subsections of the site (helpful for personal historians, especially) include:
Answers to common questions about file extensions
Audio File Types (includes compressed and uncompressed audio formats, which contain waveform data that can be played with audio playback software. This category also includes MIDI files, musical scores, and audio project files, which typically do not contain audio data).
Video File Types (a wide range of video formats, which use different codecs to encode and compress video data)
Software Information (another helpful section of the FileInfo.com, with information about popular software programs and a star-rating system to indicate a program's popularity).
Page Layout file types
Vector Image Files . It sez there: "Vector graphics are made up of paths, rather than individual pixels. These paths can be used to represent lines and shapes within the image. Most vector image formats can also include colors, gradients, and image effects. Since vector graphics store image data as paths, they can be enlarged without losing quality, which makes them a good choice for logos and other types of drawings. Common vector image file extensions include .EPS, .AI, and .SVG. Other image file categories include Raster Graphic and 3D Image files."
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Organizations relevant to multimedia work

Association of Independents in Radio (AIR), a social and professional network of 750+ producers – both independent and those employed by media organizations – representing a range of disciplines, from NPR news journalists and reporters, to sound artists, station-based producers, podcasters, gearheads, media activists, and more. Provide resources to help independent producers navigate the public media industry. Check out AIR's week-long Sounds Elemental producer intensives.
International Virtual Reality Photography Association (IVRPA)
Organizations for screenwriters, playwrights, documentary filmmakers, and critics
Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) , individuals and organizations concerned with the acquisition, description, preservation, exhibition and use of moving image materials

Organizations of or for ghostwriters and collaborators
Organizations for publishers and booksellers
Organizations for corporate, government, and technical communicators
Organizations for media pros and allied professionals (translators, indexers, designers, photographers, artists, illustrators, animators, cartoonists, image professionals, composers)
Organizations for journalists
Discussion groups, listservs, and organizations focused on copyright and intelllectual property
Organizations for editors, proofreaders, and indexers
National and international associations for translators and interpreters
Organizations and online gathering places for biographers, memoirists, personal historians, and other life story writers
Job banks and publishing marketplaces'
Organizations freelancers may find useful
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Good examples of multimedia journalism and storytelling

Finding Marlowe, the graphics-studded account 0f a journalist's search for the true story of the first licensed black private detective in Los Angeles, accompanied by a video case file: Investigating the mystery of Samuel Marlowe.
Mary Ellen's Will: The Battle for 4949 Swiss ( a Dallas Morning News special multimedia report by Lee Hancock)
Videogram: How a Vox Video Explains the Science behind the First Photo of a Black Hole (Tien Nguyen, The Open Notebook, 1-7-2020) Among the various forms of science storytelling online, video has the most moving parts. To convey a story through writing, sound, and visuals, video creators need to ensure that each aspect plays well with the others. If they don’t, they risk confusing viewers, or perhaps worse, boring them. Here, Vox video producer Joss Fong tells us how she expertly achieved this balance in Vox‘s video about how scientists took the first photo of a black hole.
Highrise: The Towers in the World, World in the Towers , one of several pieces recommended by Paul Grabowicz on this Delicious site
Prostitution in Rural America: A Journalists’ Investigation (Al Tompkins, Poyntr, 5-7-08). This series is no longer available online: Fruit of the Poisonous Loom (14-part series and multimedia website, a journalists' investigation of prostitution in rural America, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Gazette, May 2008)
Snow Fall: Avalanche at Tunnel Creek (video, part of a multimedia piece (NY Times, 12-21-12 ), John Branch's harrowing story of skiers caught in an avalanche.
Symbolia, which the Columbia Journalism Review describes as combining “the rugged hand-drawn texture of a 90’s zine with the investigative vigor and left-leaning politics of Mother Jones.”
Mexico Under Siege: The drug war at our doorstep . Since June 2008, LA Times reporters and photographers have chronicled, from both sides of the border, the savage struggle among drug cartels for control over the lucrative drug trade to the U.S. The conflict has left thousands dead, paralyzed whole cities with fear, and spawned a culture of corruption reaching the upper levels of the Mexican state.
The girl in the window (Lane DeGregory, Tampa Bay Times series, 7-31-08). Danielle, a severely neglected child, was rescued at the age of seven from unfathomable living conditions. Unable to speak or feed herself, she was discovered in a filthy, roach-infested room, her diaper overflowing and her body covered with bites. Could the love and care of her adoptive family compensate for a lifetime of neglect? Read The story about the story (Steve Myers, Poynter, 8-5-08)
Quenching Las Vegas' Thirst: When will Las Vegas run out of water? (interactive by Zach Wise, Las Vegas Sun) With expected changes in climate and no changes in water usage, Lake Mead could run dry by 2021
Talking Volumes Minnesota Public Radio series). Here, Kerri Miller's conversation with author Margaret Atwood at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, about her book MaddAddam, the final installment of her science fiction Oryx and Crake trilogy.
IDFADocLab showcasing new and unexpected forms of digital documentary storytelling--multimedia docs available online)
Deep Trouble (Naples Daily News multimedia series on the declining ecology and economy of the Gulf of Mexico)
Like that Chrysler Super Bowl ad with Clint Eastwood? Thank a poet. (Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times 2-6-12--with video). One of the most powerful ads aired during the 2012 Super Bowl credits poet Matthew Dickman as one of its copywriters.
NASA Multimedia Video Gallery
National Science Foundation Multimedia Gallery
U.S. Geological Survey Multimedia Gallery
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Digital Library
Aspen Ideas Festival (big and little ideas, captured in audio and video)
Ashes and Snow exhibit If your software supports video and special effects, click on "enhanced version," then "enter," then experience visual effects by moving your mouse around on the screen.
Lives Connected (an experiment in oral history and data visualization, featuring Hurricane Katrina experiences)
Christopher Walken Cooking a Chicken (video, with Richard Belzer of "Law & Order")
A man, his dog, his cat, and his rat (a popular YouTube video)
Book trailers and VidLits
Interactive Narratives (Online News Association) Video online and audio/video slideshows with still photography or video tracks.

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Hidden Meanings in 12 Popular Logos (Vicki Passmore, WalletPop, 1-14-11)

PowerPoint. Edward R. Tufte, The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint: Pitching Out Corrupts Within ($7), and you can read a sample here of why understanding PowerPoint is particularly important with technical material: PowerPoint Does Rocket Science--and Better Techniques for Technical Reports (Tufte analyzes one incident of flawed PowerPoint, in a Boeing analysis of launch damage to the space shuttle Columbia, arguing that poor PowerPoint design led to grave misinterpretations of Columbia's vulnerability and to Columbia blowing up on re-entry). Go here for links to many more Tufte essays by the author of the classic The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (now in its second edition). Is it worth taking his course? See Robert Kosara's frank review of Edward Tufte's one-day course(Eager Eyes 8-5-12).

Printing images: What file size do you need? (resolution needed in pixels, ppi)

TED (Technology, Education, Design)
TED Talks (videos and snippets from the best talks at TED conferences, designed to spread ideas (at $2000 a registration)
TED (ideas worth spreading, the official site)
TedEd Series (great audiovisual explanations from the people who brought us TedTalks)
TED conferences

Tom Lehrer, So Long, Mom (A Song for World War III) , shown here on YouTube singing and playing one of a number of songs featured in a two-disc CD/DVD of old classics, one of a number of songs featured in The Tom Lehrer Collection, favorites from a beloved master of social-political satire set to music.

VidLits--examples of book trailers from one of the first sources
Laura Sydell's NPR story about Web 'VidLits,' featuring Yiddish with Dick and Jane
The Dog Dialed 911
Julie and Julia (brings out the book's appeal, which is different from the movie's)
Liz Dubelman's "Craziest" (8 minutes and a 'must-see' for Scrabble fans)
Yiddish with George and Laura
More VidLits

ViewChange.org Stories Powering Progress.Watch videos about various developing countries."Using the power of video to tell stories about real people and progress in global development. Working with non-profit organizations, film distributors, and individual filmmakers, we combine at one site documentaries, news reports, and viewer-generated films of varying length and style. They are being shown both here and on the Link TV national television network, which reaches 47 million US homes." Funded by the Gates Foundation.