[This is a guest post by Marco Vergotti*, with a visual breakdown of the winners of last year’s edition of Malofiej]
In 2014, after Malofiej ended and the winners were known, I was even more sure than I usually am of the importance of data visualization as a resource, through which everything becomes more clear and understandable if applied correctly to a text.
The list of winners of Malofiej is presented as…a list. Besides the drama of knowing that your work is not there, there’s the disappointment of not being able to “see” the awarded works in a more organized fashion.
With that in mind, I began to think of a way of transforming that list in a graphic, and I commented that with Tiago Veloso, who thought the idea was great and challenged me to write a guest post about it. I’ve been working on this project ever since.
First, I had to go over the data within that list to get all the information I needed, in order to draw some conclusions. I’ve always had the impression that Brazil had little weight in the total of medals awarded, and that drove me to search for more information, going back to 2011. Before that date, it’s impossible to make any sort of analysis, since there’s no data available for that. It took me several months of research, before gathering and finally, visualizing, those four years of awarded works.
This event, hosted by the University of Navarra, in Pamplona, Spain, exists since 1993, and it’s by far the most awaited by visual journalists and infographic designers all over the world. Besides the awards, you have workshops during the week, and a two-day conference, ate the end of which the winners of the Malofiej awards are presented.
Last year, the top winner was The New York Times, with 39 medals and the Peter Sullivan Award – Best of Show, in both online and print categories. Brazil was left with the 5th place, with a total of 9 medals, 2 silvers and 7 bronze.
I noticed that Brazil keeps a certain prestige, in the Society for News Design events, and that’s corroborated with the overall performance in the last four editions of Malofiej Awards, with a total of 39 medals. Of course, we are still far from the USA, that managed to get 83 medals in 2014 alone, followed by Spain, with 14. This hegemony shows perhaps how these two countries invest in tools and professionals that deal with visual journalism, despite of the crisis that is hitting the news industry.
The top five winning countries in 2014:
1º ] USA: 83 medals
2º ] Spain: 14 medals
3º ] Germany: 11 medals
4º ] Argentina: 11 medals
5º ] Brazil: 9 medals
Alessandro Alvim, one of the juries of Malofiej 22, says that the American supremacy is mostly due to the balance between journalism and design. A good example of that are the outstanding infographics Front Row to Fashion Week…
…and, somehow, the Brazilian works that were competing didn’t present that balance.
“Infographic design is a cognitive task, it’s in the brain and not in the tools, and the infographic designer must be savvy in journalism, and know how the design may help to tell the story”
I believe in this philosophy, and I always try to applied to the work we do at Época magazine.
The New York Times’ infographic “State Gun Laws Enacted in Year Since Newtown”, that won the “Peter Sullivan/Best of Show Award” in 2014 (print category), is an example of how we can’t achieve that balance every single time.
In 2015, Malofiej23 comes with “Graphics staright to the veign” – I wish it’s straight to the bones.
Below you’ll see the infographic poster I created. I want to thank the help from Álvaro Gil of Errea Comunicación, who provided me with the data I needed, and Tiago, for the opportunity of letting me share this project.