Thinking visually is indispensable for the future of journalism, according to Spanish journalist Alberto Cairo. Cairo’s approach to visual storytelling is the theme of the course “Intro to Infographics and Visualization for Journalists,” presented in Portuguese from Oct. 24 through Dec. 4. The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas‘ distance learning platform will host the course.
This will be the third time the Knight Center will offer Cairo’s course this year and the second time in Portuguese. “Unfortunately, the first time we offered the course in Portuguese, in July, there was so much demand we could only accept half of the applicants,” said professor Rosental Alves, director of the Knight Center. “I hope anyone who couldn’t get into the last class will re-apply and attend this excellent course.”
The course lasts six weeks and will be conducted completely online. Upon registration, there is a $60 fee to cover administrative costs.
Interested journalists can apply until 5 p.m. CDT, Oct. 12, 2011.
In the course, Cairo will show journalists how to use graphics to communicate and analyze data. “You don’t need to know how to draw, nor how to use complicated software,” he said. “Instead, you need to educate yourself to think in a more visual way, something that is within everyone’s reach. This change in mentality is fundamental for the future of journalism. I will also explain how to create computer graphics/display departments, which professionals to hire and how to train them.”
The course is aimed at journalists who don’t have design experience, who want to better understand how to plan coverage using infographics, and for designers and artists interested in a more journalistic and functional vision through its use. It is divided into weekly modules containing audiovisual presentations and links to online resources. Exercises, online discussions and additional assignments will also be part of the curriculum. Students can work at their own pace but will be expected to complete the assignments.
“It is very important to enter the class each day,” advises Cairo, “I understand that we all have jobs to attend to but, as a minimum, each person should at least enter the classroom early Monday morning because that’s when the most important points of the course will be posted.” Participants can expect to spend 10-20 hours per week on the course.
In addition to his work at Época magazine, Cairo was a professor in the Master em Jornalismo program in Brazil and the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya in Spain. He was also the James H. Shumaker term assitant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and taught at the Universidad Carlos III in Madrid, Spain. Between 2000-2005 he was the director of interactive infographics at El Mundo where his design team won the most awards in the Society of Newspaper Design (SND) and Malofiej contests. He regularly blogs for Periodismo con Futuro de El Pais and is the author of two books on infographics.
“We are very proud at the Knight Center to have Alberto Cairo among our instructors this year,” said director Rosental Alves. “He is one of the best journalists in the world specializing in infographics who moved from his native Spain to the United States. After a successful career in Madrid, he recently transferred to Brazil. He has been one of the first to understand the art of using interactive, digital graphics for the journalistic narrative.”
For more details, click here to see the course information sheet.
The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas was created in 2002 by Professor Rosental Alves at the University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism. It was funded with a generous donation from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Center also receives contributions from other donors, including the Open Society Foundations and The University of Texas at Austin. The Center’s main goal is to help journalists in Latin American and the Caribbean improve the quality of journalism in their countries.