A project art directed by IDSC Visualization, Data Communication, and Information Design Program Director Alberto Cairo “At the Epicenter” —published first in Brazil, and then later in the U.S. by The Washington Post—has just won a Best of Show award at the Society for News Design (SND) in the Digital News Design Competition. This award distinguishes the very best work of the year.
Best in Show (small newsrooms): Agência Lupa’s “At the Epicenter” (“No Epicentro” in Portuguese)
As noted to judges in its entry: Agência Lupa faced a similar challenge as many news organizations in how to visualize the alarming number of Covid-19 deaths, as noted to judges in its entry. Because major outbreaks happened in metropolitan areas and many Brazilians didn’t see the effects of the disease in their daily lives, Agência Lupa created a simulation to make the losses easier to understand: What if all these deaths had happened near you?
One judge noted: “Media outlets have struggled with expressing the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic in visceral terms: this is as close as we’ve got to do so.”
Judges also applauded the “clear narrative concept for a much-needed message executed with state-of-the-art craftsmanship. . .. Any readers coming across this on the internet would stop in their tracks and learn something new about a news statistic they probably thought they already understood.”
Another called it incredibly compelling: “Using the tool I saw my entire small hometown decimated, wiped out completely by April 3rd. It encapsulated earnestly the devastating loss around us . . . For me, the dots became more than a face in a crowd in a distant city—they became every single one of my neighbors, the children playing in the street, the mail person, and my parents.”