It’s been less than two weeks since Brazil surprised the World of sports by defeating Spain in the Confederations Cup. It was an indisputable win, with the players working hard during the whole game. Something Brazilian fans weren’t used to, lately.
Some might say that this behavior of the national soccer team had something to do with the massive wave of protests that took the international media spotlight out of the FIFA tournament and in to the streets of pretty much all major Brazilian cities. Perhaps. Time will tell.
This post is actually about one of the main targets of the millions involved in the protests: the cost of the 12 soccer stadiums being built or remodeled for the 2014 World Cup, already over R$ 8,3 billions (around US$3,3 billions) . More than year before the uprising, a four-people team inside the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de SÃ£o Paulo begun working on a series of special infographic reports about each one of the new arenas, and we’ll take a look at how Â that journalistic work came to life.
“We knew that it was a controversial topic and that we’d see a lot of media coverage about it, so we decide to feed that discussion by presenting all of the arenas in detail”, said to us Eduardo Asta, a leading name in Brazilian infographic design and the responsible for a good part of the infographic work in this series.
Together with reporters Paulo Favero and Almir Leite, Eduardo and the talented illustrator Jonatan Sarmento started working in the project back in March, 2012. By June, they begun drawing the arenas, and in September the first one was published. By December, 12 double-page infographics, plus the online versions, had been released.
It all sounds perfectly time-tabled and executed, but you can’t produce such a work without facing some obstacles in the way. And the first one was inside the newsroom, as Eduardo explains: “At first, we weren’t sure that the newspaper would allow us to use two full pages, or even assure that the full series would be published”.
The topic, however, was already so relevant in Brazil at hat time, that these doubts were quickly dissipated, and the main problem became finding and obtaining all the information they needed.
“At this stage, there were, basically, two things that we had to focus: obtain all the architectonic details, plants and schematics, and then decide what we’d, in fact, use. This last part was easy for us, since I’ve a major degree in Architecture and experience with information design. But the first part was way more complicated. Only a few arenas agreed to share the schematics and answer our questions. While we were just collecting the facts, we were patient and understanding, but as soon as the first one was published, we had to be much more insistent. If we missed one, the whole series would be compromised. In two occasions, we had to appeal to State Governor Offices to get the information.”
Eduardo shared a few initial sketches of one of the stadiums, the ManÃ© Garrincha Arena, in BrasÃlia:
And the final result:
All this work ultimately paid-off. The series was praised by the readers, the online versions were also very impressive, and it was properly rewarded at Malofiej 21 with the Gold medal in the Portfolio category. In addition, the infographics about the MaracanÃ£ and ManÃ© Garrincha Stadium (seen above) were awarded with a Bronze medal each, in the print category. “We were quite surprised with the Gold medal. We hoped that we would get an award, but not the gold”, says Eduardo. The impact inside the newsroom was also important: “It feels that it opened the way for more works like this in the future”.
We sure hope so. Congratulations to all the team, and here’s the full set of infographics about the 2014 World Cup stadiums:
We thank Eduardo Asta for his explanation (he’s a must-follow on Flickr), and if you want to see more infographics created by the graphics department team of Estado de SÃ£o Paulo, here’s the newspaper’s online gallery.