How your decisions shape your story


The stories we tell are always the result of a chain of decisions we make.

Typically, those decisions are things like: what topic to cover, who to interview, what questions to ask, what information to include, and how to edit the story.

The same is very much true in the practice of data journalism. You need to choose what story you’re telling, what data to show, where to find it, how to display it, and so on. This concept was reinforced for me last year during some training with data visualisation specialist Andy Kirk, who showed us this slide:


It’s a fantastic reminder that the decisions we make all the way through the storytelling process have an impact on the finished product: make enough good decisions and you’ll have a good story. (And vice versa of course.)


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