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And Now, the Cartoon News

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the picture-is-worth-a-thousand-words-depending-on-bitrate dept.

The Media 107

theodp writes "Would you read a cartoon version of Slashdot? Quality stuff, not half-baked MS-Paint posts like 'Introducing Microsoft Monocle and Self-Driving Bentley'. Erin Polgreen has big plans for illustrated journalism. In October, Polgreen will be launching Symbolia, a tablet-based magazine of illustrated journalism, through Apple's App Store. 'Illustrated journalism draws you in, Polgreen explains. 'It's accessible in a way 5,000 words of text isn't. Regardless of age, gender or anything, you grasp it faster than most journalism.' Polgreen follows in the footsteps of other cartoonist-journalists, including Joe Kubert (RIP), Joe Sacco, and Josh Neufeld."

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Would you read a cartoon version of Slashdot? (-1)

elynnia (815633) | more than 2 years ago | (#41074957)

No. [1]

When will people seriously get it into their think marketer heads that although cartoons or videos may be more initially eye-catching, they have low information density and are worse at getting actual information across than plain old text?

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge's_Law_of_Headlines [wikipedia.org]

Re:Would you read a cartoon version of Slashdot? (5, Insightful)

Ziggitz (2637281) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075005)

Stop quoting that god damn article. It's over-referenced and the article title isn't even a leading question, it's not even a question at all, it's a question in the body on the text. You are not clever.

Two words (5, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075169)

Larry Gonick [wikipedia.org] .

When will people seriously get it into their think marketer heads that although cartoons or videos may be more initially eye-catching, they have low information density and are worse at getting actual information across than plain old text?

Information means different things. What most people mean when they say information is *meaning*. You can't make blanket statements about how much *meaning* a cartoon can carry vs. text. It depends on three things: (1) the topic; (2) the artist or writer's mastery of the topic; and (3) the artist or writer's mastery of his craft.

Re:Two words (2, Interesting)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075451)

Here's an idea:

1 '. _ .'
2-= (~) =-
3 .' # '.

Why don't we just replace slashdot articles with ascii art?

Of course, we'll need to modify the junk character filter for this to work....

Re:Two words (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41075791)

When will people seriously get it into their think marketer heads that although cartoons or videos may be more initially eye-catching, they have low information density and are worse at getting actual information across.

A few months after they start using the interface formerly known as Metro?

Re:Two words (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#41082683)

Information means different things. What most people mean when they say information is *meaning*.

Then most people are pretty dumb. I can't be the only one who knows that you don't measure meaning in bits.

Re:Would you read a cartoon version of Slashdot? (4, Interesting)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075285)

When will people seriously get it into their think marketer heads that although cartoons or videos may be more initially eye-catching, they have low information density and are worse at getting actual information across than plain old text?

Not necessarily. Depending on what's being reported on, a picture can be worth a thousand words. And "information density" isn't always the only objective of journalism. A lot of stories are about evoking the emotion of the situation, so a lot of it tends to be descriptive. Quality news sources like the BBC are pretty good at almost transporting you there by capturing the sensations of what's going on. Illustrated news lends itself very well to that kind of reporting.

Re:Would you read a cartoon version of Slashdot? (2)

neminem (561346) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075513)

A picture can be worth a thousand words... unless you're behind a filter that blocks most images.

Re:Would you read a cartoon version of Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41076549)

Also, I doubt the New York Times would be employing a "data artist" to do their info graphics if there weren't some merit in it.

Re:Would you read a cartoon version of Slashdot? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#41080143)

Depending on what's being reported on, a picture can be worth a thousand words.

YMMV, but for every case I've seen where text was used and a picture would have been better I've seen a hundred the other way round.

Re:Would you read a cartoon version of Slashdot? (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about 2 years ago | (#41081987)

While a picture may be worth a thousand words, I would argue that one of the downfalls (prior to the internet) in news reporting was the advent of USA Today's cartoonish news, and soundbite style of reporting. Very low on details, and high on eye candy...Oooooh, shiny!!!

I'll agree that "information density" isn't the only objective of journalism. It's all about getting the most ad revenue, and extremely rarely about reporting anything actually important.

Re:Would you read a cartoon version of Slashdot? (4, Interesting)

firewrought (36952) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075333)

When will people seriously get it into their think marketer heads that although cartoons or videos may be more initially eye-catching, they have low information density and are worse at getting actual information across than plain old text?

First, density != effectiveness in human-to-human communications.

Second, text has medium density... it's more dense than a comic but less dense than a well-designed graph.

Finally, consider that your view of cartoons may not include everything the medium is capable of. Have you seen, for example, Scott McCloud's comic-book introduction to Google Chrome [google.com] ? Plain old text could have conveyed the same information, but it's doubtful the audience would have been as large or absorbed as much. Scott argues that cartoons can be more effective [amazon.com] than pure text, and while I suspect he's only partially right, it is still worthwhile to try experiments like the one Polgreen is talking about.

Re:Would you read a cartoon version of Slashdot? (1)

wuzzerd (1150445) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075365)

Now I know what the Block Images button is for.

Re:Would you read a cartoon version of Slashdot? (3, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#41076129)

it's more dense than a comic but less dense than a well-designed graph.

It depends upon what you mean by "information" or what you mean by "news" in the case of this article (cartoon journalism).

At its best, "the news" is much more than just raw data. A graph can visualize data but it cannot provide analysis. And the thing we're sorely lacking in most of our media (no, one of the many things) is serious analysis. I don't even mean "unbiased" analysis, because there is no such thing. I mean actual analysis, with some disclosed opinion as gravy.

Seeing the streets of New Orleans flooded and a body floating facedown may be worth a thousand words, but it does not tell me what I need to know. It does not tell me about the failure of the Army Corps of Engineers or the history of those levees. It does not tell me how Katrina compares to most hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast. It's a dramatic picture, "dense" in the parlance of visualization, but has no value as news. I could have gotten the same information that "Hurricane hits New Orleans. People die." from a tickertape or a tweet.

And I really, REALLY don't need a moral equivalence based on some coward's notion of "fairness". I don't need the kind of BS "fact-checking" like the Washington Post or politifact, where facts are only checked against conventional wisdom, not against what's actually happening or has actually happened. And always now, the only bias is not a political one in the usual sense, but a bias based on the corporate hegemony. The conventional wisdom is the convention of mindless consumerism.

It's not that hard, really, except for the change in the business model of the news media. Before there was an expectation of huge profits, when most media outlets were family or individually owned by people who had a sense of civic duty (even with their political bias generously applied), we were able to discern some useful picture of our larger world from the news media.

Now we get either useless posturing or glaring images of things over which we have absolutely no control. That isn't news. That's exploitation of the consumers of media.

Re: graph vs analysis (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 2 years ago | (#41077979)

Hi PopeRatzo.

I would like to try a counter that sometimes the graph *is* the analysis. To (hopefully respectfully) paraphrase Stephen Wolfram from one of his books, "this/these graphs represent thousands of hours of data collation, and should be considered copyrighted works not to be reproduced (etc.) "

So for example faced with a graph of of "sites actually hurt by adblock" (with a paragraph of study assumptions) then the rest of the article full of inflammatory rhetoric might go to the sideline if the % of sites actually hurt = 7%. One graph makes the story and then you can almost visualize the entire article.

Re: graph vs analysis (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#41080293)

Hey, Tao. Haven't seen you for a while. Hope you're well.

You're right. A graph does tell a story, but is a story exactly the same as analysis? You could see a graph of economic activity or population in New Orleans in 2005 and think Louisiana fell into the Gulf, or a dirty nuke had been detonated on West End Boulevard. Depending on the length of the timeline, it might look as if nothing at all had happened or the greatest catastrophe in the city's history.

A graph is a great tool for telling a story, but it's really just an adjunct to a meaningful analysis.

However, I must say I've seen visualizations of data that are so well-designed that you get an amazing picture of a situation or phenomenon. They are practically analysis themselves.

You make a good point.

Prediction (2)

3nails4aFalseProphet (248128) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075677)

This will go over about as well as the old Ananova.com website. Am I the only one who remembers that crime against journalism? It was like having the news fed through Xtranormal.

Here's a brief BBC story on Ananova, for the youngsters who have no idea what gramps is ranting about this time: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/606855.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Would you read a cartoon version of Slashdot? (5, Insightful)

wermske (1781984) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075815)

If this were about uplifting kids or bringing news to the english-language disadvantaged OR SATIRE, I believe this concept may have merit. Unfortunately, I'm convinced this is nothing but a contributor to the dumbing down [wikipedia.org] of culture/society. This is an appeal to the lowest common denominator and it should be soundly rejected as mainstream messaging.

Diluting and distilling the message creates more opportunity for message corruption and/or misinterpretation. But the problem extends beyond miscommunicating the facts. Skew and color (a.k.a. bias) is a natural byproduct of dilution and distillation. This is where journalism ends and marketing begins. When the vehicle of a message becomes as important as the message itself... this is not journalism. It is entertainment and/or advertising.

Cartoons are not new in the journalistic space. The political cartoon first appeared in 16th-century Germany during the Reformation, the first time such art became an active propaganda weapon with social implications. By the mid-19th cent. editorial cartoons had become regular features in American newspapers, and were soon followed by sports cartoons and humorous cartoons. England (1843); a series of drawings appeared in a publication called Punch that parodied the fresco cartoons submitted in a competition for the decoration of the new Houses of Parliament. Nonpolitical cartoons, typically humorous, became popular with the development of the color press, and in 1893 the first color cartoon appeared in the New York World. The New Yorker and the Saturday Evening Post were among the most notable American magazines to use outstanding single cartoon drawings. In this way cartoon, in journalistic parlance, came to mean any single humorous or satirical drawing employing distortion for emphasis, often accompanied by a caption or a legend.

As a society, we must be clear on what quality journalism is... and what defines news. When Fox News Channel and Christian Broadcasting Network can present tabloid, yellow journalism or fantastic, mythical distortions of reality and characterizing their products as "Fair and Balanced" or "Good News", something has gone horribly wrong with the general understanding of journalism.

What's Dumbing Down Journalism [washingtonpost.com]
Dumbing Down - Implications [hubpages.com]
Is online media dumbing down journalism? [timlonghurst.com]
Dumbing Down Journalism - The Rise of American Propoganda [wordpress.com]

Society must demand quality journalism and if they do not understand what quality journalism, philosopher kings must be ever vigilent against the intrusion of pretenders. Society must be uplifted by journalism. Journalism should not cater to the lowest common denominator. Cartoons that do not confine their scope to children, special language needs audiences, or satire present a slippery slope and usher the decent of journalism into a hell of misinformation.

Re:Would you read a cartoon version of Slashdot? (0)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075979)

Just because the medium happens to be illustrations doesn't necessarily mean that it will lead to dumbing down. Fox News uses Hi Def cameras. Do High def cameras contribute to dumbing down? No, there's plenty of more legitimate news organizations that also use them.

Fox News uses computer graphics to convey information. Are computer graphics contributing to dumbing down? No. It is the abuse of these tools, be they high def cameras, computer graphics or illustrations that can cause dumbing down.

There are strengths and weaknesses to any medium. Just because news is presented in the familiar format of a person speaking to the camera doesn't make it any more reliable.

Re:Would you read a cartoon version of Slashdot? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41077331)

Okay, now you're just fucking cheating. The article's title didn't even ask the question.

I swear, this shit is worse than the "DURRRRRRRR CORRELATION IZ NOT CAUSATION HERP A DERP A DERP" meme we had to put up with a few years back. Yes, we get it. Someone made a clever soundbite-sized quote for assholes to overuse and misuse, and you all fell for it like a news organization falls for political talking points. We know you're that easily impressionable already, you don't need to keep reiterating that fact.

Whew! (2)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 2 years ago | (#41074969)

"Would you read a cartoon version of Slashdot?"

At first I thought we'd be seeing a new /. page. Thank God it's just a story.

Re:Whew! (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075645)

Sometimes it is a cartoon. But I don't think that a cartoon format would give the "picture is worth a thousand words" content transfer that correctly formed textual matter would give.

Her premise, "'Illustrated journalism draws you in, Polgreen explains. 'It's accessible in a way 5,000 words of text isn't" is a seeming statement of fact, but certainly doesn't work for all cases. Yes, things like comic books are fun, but a treatise on why nosql dbs have scaling problems isn't going to turned into a cartoon anytime soon. Even infographics are difficult because of the nature of data and language and visuals.

Re:Whew! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41079843)

a treatise on why nosql dbs have scaling problems isn't going to turned into a cartoon anytime soon.

Agreed, that would just be rediculous! [google.com]

Re:Whew! (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075939)

But then editors would not work as hard as they do, because they will just talk (in a video).

Now, if they can make the comment section look like a cartoon... that I would love to see^H^H^H read. :-)

Re:Whew! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41079221)

The London Illustrated News: pictures for illiterates and captions for the non-thinking.

Re:Whew! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41081397)

"Would you read a cartoon version of Slashdot?"

No. Superman, Batman, and Spider man helped me learn to read, but I didn't have much use for comic books after maybe the second grade. The idea of presenting news in cartoon format? Maybe have the TV news folks dressed as clowns, too?

Stupid idea IMO.

Good for retarded countries like America and Europ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41074977)

This is exactly what the abject retards in the nations of America and Europe, and Islam need.

Pictures not words.

I've got a picture of your sister on all fours taking it in the ass while sucking dick.

Re:Good for retarded countries like America and Eu (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075303)

This is exactly what the abject retards in the nations of America and Europe, and Islam need.

Pictures not words.

I've got a picture of your sister on all fours taking it in the ass while sucking dick.

Hi Sarah. you forgot to add Africa to that list of countries.

tl;dr (1)

mevets (322601) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075027)

Even the name symbolia is too long to be bothered reading. They should condense it into an icon. Maybe rename it ADD-NEWS.

ipaid (1)

eriklou (1027240) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075041)

"...through Apple's App Store..."

Way to limit your market to the elite who can afford apple products.

Re:ipaid (2)

tylikcat (1578365) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075093)

There are plenty of reasons to avoid apple products even if one can afford them.

I would certainly have been willing to try it, otherwise.

(OTOH, I find myself annoyed by how many things are available only as video these days, so perhaps I should just admit that I'm old.)

Re:ipaid (0)

aitikin (909209) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075217)

I hate that things are always video now and I'm only 25. Does that make me old?

Re:ipaid (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41081745)

OTOH, I find myself annoyed by how many things are available only as video these days, so perhaps I should just admit that I'm old

No, you should just admit that you're literate. I saw a figure a few weeks ago (and I don't know how accurate it is) that stated that 97% of people are either illiterate or aliterate; people seem to have stopped reading when TV was invented.

So... (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075047)

So, why read a cartoon version when you can just watch the news? I really don't see what this is trying to accomplish that video won't.

Re:So... (0)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075305)

So, why read a cartoon version when you can just watch the news? I really don't see what this is trying to accomplish that video won't.

Why read manga when you can just sit back and watch anime? I really don't see what manga us trying to accomplish that anime doesn't.

Re:So... (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075469)

So, why read a cartoon version when you can just watch the news? I really don't see what this is trying to accomplish that video won't.

Why read manga when you can just sit back and watch anime? I really don't see what manga us trying to accomplish that anime doesn't.

I couldn't agree more ;)

Re:So... (1)

blue_teeth (83171) | about 2 years ago | (#41078085)

It is an attempt to exploit the "trust" factor.  People are developing skepticism on news (which is healthy).  We tend to like cartoons (imagine a port opening in our minds).  The powers-to-be want to exploit this port and deliver their "news & opinions"  to us.

No, I am not paranoid.

Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41075049)

Regardless of its format, 'traditional' journalism is now on the endangered species list of vocations and no amount of reformatting, rejigging or re-engineering can save it. One has to wonder why someone would even bother with something like this.

Re:Why bother? (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075319)

Regardless of its format, 'traditional' journalism is now on the endangered species list of vocations and no amount of reformatting, rejigging or re-engineering can save it. One has to wonder why someone would even bother with something like this.

Because it's about bloody time someone tried something innovative to save quality journalism from oblivion? Because some people are not defeatist? Because some people have the balls to take risks?

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41075625)

If "quality journalism" is resorting to cartoons of all things to try to save itself, then all hope is truly lost.

Might as well sell up the assets, liquidate the company and pull the plug. Anything else is just delaying the inevitable, because once you have reached the cartoon level of serious journalism, you crossed the line a long time ago.

Re:Why bother? (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075699)

If "quality journalism" is resorting to cartoons of all things to try to save itself, then all hope is truly lost.

Might as well sell up the assets, liquidate the company and pull the plug. Anything else is just delaying the inevitable, because once you have reached the cartoon level of serious journalism, you crossed the line a long time ago.

Like I said. Defeatism.

Re:Why bother? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#41082879)

s/Defeat/Real/g [1]

See also: Picket's charge, buggy-whip factories, Pearl Harbour (German bombing of).

[1] Yes, there probably is a clever way to do it using backreferences.

Yes, Minister. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#41082813)

Because it's about bloody time someone tried something

Something must be done. Cartoons are something. Therefore, we must do cartoons.

A monocle? (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075053)

Let me be the first to say "indubitably!"

But (1)

Lueseiseki (1189513) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075057)

Wait wait hold on, what if I want to watch Homer unveil the 'Microsoft Monocle and Self-Driving Bentley'? I think you guys are on to something here

Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41075065)

Why not? American journalism is already a caricature of the profession.

Re:Why not? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075767)

its a profession!? mind ... blown

Onion holders, fit all belts! Two nickels apiece. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#41080747)

I know it's difficult for you interblogging whippersnappers to comprehend, but yes, at one time it used to be.

Re:Onion holders, fit all belts! Two nickels apiec (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about 2 years ago | (#41082983)

I know it's difficult for you interblogging whippersnappers to comprehend, but yes, at one time it used to be.

At 53, I'm not old enough to remember quality journalism, with the exception of Cronkite. Now, get off my lawn!

Hmmm (2)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075077)

I wonder if one day there will be little writing done and mostly video/photo with icons to tell you what's going on, like something you might see on an Egyptian temple, symbols not an alphabet or writing as we know it currently.

Side Note: When I turned to youtube for some tutorials I found myself losing patience with video because (to me any how) it just plods along, I could read a tutorial much faster than I can watch it.

That is all, let the dumbing down continue.

Re:Hmmm (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | about 2 years ago | (#41080759)

Side Note: When I turned to youtube for some tutorials I found myself losing patience with video because (to me any how) it just plods along, I could read a tutorial much faster than I can watch it.

That depends how well you know the subject. When I was attempting to use my mother's sewing machine for a quick repair while home from college a few years back, I couldn't figure out how to get the damn thing to work (It's an old machine -- much more complex than newer ones as I learned...). Every tutorial would have a step something along the lines of 'Next, thread the bobbin'. That's it. The really good ones maybe had a 'before' and 'after' photo, which was entirely useless. Once I figure out what the hell a bobbin even WAS, I still had no clue how to actually thread it. Finally managed to figure it out once I found a video tutorial with a similar aged machine.

Granted, that's more a problem with all the tutorials I found being crap...or maybe they just assumed you had _some_ idea of what you were doing. Even though the video pretty much assumed you knew how to do it already (probably in the instructions for the machine, which probably disappeared a few decades ago,) it still showed it happening because it was a video. Point being...videos can include a lot of things you may not think about and may not even intend to include. And those can help.

But yea, in 95% of cases...just gimme the damn text. Although I will say that I find video FAR preferable to audio. Can't even describe how annoyed I get when I find something that looks quite interesting online...only to find out it's only available as a podcast.

FWIW (1)

carrier lost (222597) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075079)

Mickey Mouse for anchorman!

Minnie could do weather and Donald Duck would be an excellent Bill O'Reilly.

Max Headroom filter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41075133)

Just give me a Max filter for email, texts, everything.

How is This Different... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41075137)

...than current political cartoons, except for the blatant coat-tailing copyright infringement.

Try again, you media-whoring non-talent.

Re:How is This Different... (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 2 years ago | (#41076005)

...than current political cartoons,

Political cartoons are typically short and to the point with a humorous slant. This would be a bit more detailed, it would be in the form of a story told over a handful of pages, so it would be more about being informative than putting a comedy spin on a story that everyone is already familiar with.

I though this WAS cartoon news (0)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075153)

Considering some of the drivel that makes the front page as of late, it would be easy to mistake this site for a parody of a tech news site. The only thing that makes that seem doubtful is that here, 110% of the editorial content is conservative.

But it's already a cartoon.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41075195)

It rarely has any relationship to reality....

Long live the new flesh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41075201)

Yeah, but who's got my Videodrome?

Who wouldn't want their information FASTER? (3, Funny)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075213)

I also want my cornflakes to be blended - I don't have time to chew - then shot into my mouth.

Because obviously that's better.

Re:Who wouldn't want their information FASTER? (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075343)

I also want my cornflakes to be blended - I don't have time to chew - then shot into my mouth.

Because obviously that's better.

Personally, the powdered stuff that settles to the bottom of the packet is my favorite part of Corn Flakes.

Re:Who wouldn't want their information FASTER? (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075487)

I also want my cornflakes to be blended - I don't have time to chew - then shot into my mouth.

Because obviously that's better.

Personally, the powdered stuff that settles to the bottom of the packet is my favorite part of Corn Flakes.

This may be true, but remember the density we're talking about here... you're likely going to be getting a teaspoonfull of that powder a day as your "cereal". Hardly enough food fast enough to be nourishing.

That said, the right picture *is* worth 1,000 words -- it just has to be the _right_ picture. Others are worth 3 words or less.

Re:Who wouldn't want their information FASTER? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41078313)

I don't have time to waste shooting chewed cornflakes into my mount, I just shoot it right into the shitter.

Nope. Not from that app store. (3, Interesting)

thedarb (181754) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075219)

I'd prefer to read it on my Linux PC, Windows PC, Android phone, and even yes... my Mac laptop. But never if it comes through their app store and it's apps.

superficial news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41075235)

Pictures can convey some things better than text, but I think cartoon journalism would only provide superficial news and miss detailed information. Hmm, so what does that say about TV journalism? And another thought. Journalists can type, but how many of them can draw?

Re:superficial news (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075521)

Pictures can convey some things better than text, but I think cartoon journalism would only provide superficial news and miss detailed information. Hmm, so what does that say about TV journalism? And another thought. Journalists can type, but how many of them can draw?

On the other hand, how many artists can't write, but would love to be journalists? This could open a whole new medium for journalism!

Next up: olafactory journalism.

Re:superficial news (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about 2 years ago | (#41083027)

Next up: olafactory journalism.

I can hardly wait for the Scratch & Sniff!

There is already cartoon news. (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075269)

It's in the Sun, Mail, NY Post, Boston Herald, and last but not least, Fox.

--
BMO

A cartoon-illustrated /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41075349)

I am thinking that for illustrations, pink poniez would have the best effect.

CAPTCHA: refrain

Next Media Animation (1)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075369)

Next Media Animation (also known as 'those crazy Taiwanese animators') seems to be doing a good enough job here.

Aw, c'mon! (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075397)

When are they going to get to the fireworks factory?

Political cartooning is an underrated art form (2)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075403)

You could read through a bland paragraph stating that the Greeks are desperate to eject from the Euro mess that they've gotten themselves into, but with Germany calling the shots they're finding it very difficult. Or you could just have a shuftie at this [economist.com] . Which gets the point across quicker?

It takes a lot of skill to get information summarized into visually digestible forms, and it's a much more efficient way of communicating. It's the same as how a company's logo is more instantly recognizable than just the company name printed in plain text.

There's no need to be such snobs about "dumbing down". I take it you all only read newspapers and never listen to the radio or watch TV news?

Re:Political cartooning is an underrated art form (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075621)

You could read through a bland paragraph stating that the Greeks are desperate to eject from the Euro mess that they've gotten themselves into, but with Germany calling the shots they're finding it very difficult. Or you could just have a shuftie at this. Which gets the point across quicker?

Your one sentence summary. Your one sentence summary didn't have a pop-up trying to get me to subscribe to your newsletter, and I didn't have to download several kb of graphic to start with. Then figure out that "Ms. Merkel" refers to Angela Merkel of Germany, and then try to figure out why everyone wasn't jumping the "bus".

It takes a lot of skill to get information summarized into visually digestible forms, and it's a much more efficient way of communicating.

It does take skill, but more efficient? A four panel editorial cartoon is more efficient than one sentence? I guess if you can't read it would be.

It's the same as how a company's logo is more instantly recognizable than just the company name printed in plain text.

Not really. Behind every iconic icon there is a pre-existing ad campaign designed to make that connection. That company logo is also not intended to convey complex concepts like economics and politics, either.

Try this as an experiment. Take the test [doobybrain.com] . The ones I knew were only because of years of advertising. I have no idea what the "blue frazzled U" represents. I would probably recognize the name of the company if you wrote it out.

Re:Political cartooning is an underrated art form (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#41083139)

Then figure out that "Ms. Merkel" refers to Angela Merkel of Germany

At least Steve Bell gives you a hint by depicting her mit Pickelhaube [guardian.co.uk]

Re:Political cartooning is an underrated art form (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075991)

It depends on whether your point is factual content or snarky sarcasm.

See also: frying pan, fire (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#41083031)

You missed out two key points: one, that countries leaving will potentially destabilize those that remain and two, the consequences for Greece (given the fact that the Drachma was a laughing stock) might be worse than staying.

If I were Apple... (1)

A3gis (708791) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075429)

I'd sue you for infringing my patent of making a comic from a slashdot article! http://www.legalwarfare.com/comics/PoLComic1.jpg [legalwarfare.com] (although you might do a GOOD comic so i guess that would invalidate my fake patent..) PS: I'd read it. Comments about information density appear silly given most people just seem to skim the article snippet.

Nooooo!! (4, Interesting)

pubwvj (1045960) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075543)

Please.
No.
Giga bandwidth wasting graphic simplification.

Text is best.

Be eloquent.

Rap News for the win! (1)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075603)

Seriously, it [youtube.com] is [youtube.com] really [youtube.com] awesome [youtube.com] .

Combination I can skip (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075971)

Sounds like a combination of Marvel Comics and USA Today. YUCK. POW. BAM.

Re:Combination I can skip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41077365)

America, fuck yeah!

After a generation or so... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#41076065)

...you could leave out the words and only have the illustrations. Wait, I think I saw that movie.

we're doomed (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 2 years ago | (#41076309)

So essentially, as a civilization we've devolved from being able to read, and need to go back to cartoon paintings on a wall to convey information?

News Reporting Simplified (2)

Cylix (55374) | more than 2 years ago | (#41076373)

This makes reporting so much simpler because actual interviews and reporting won't be necessary. Interviews can be completely written on the spot! It will be a huge time saver and a win for the readers.

Distilled satire on an issue or simple gripe with a plain service make excellent candidates for cartoons. Penny-arcade is a wonderful example of satire in an industry I care about. The New Yorker has been doing much the same with political satire for years. However, both of these outlets do not represent their entire collection of view points with just simple quips.

As a format for a news journal I think it's fairly laughable, but may likely draw in some viewers. There is a niche for everyone!

It already exists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41076527)

It's called "xkcd."

Only if it was a mobile iPad4 iPhone5 version (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 2 years ago | (#41076649)

I would do so if it was available in a mobile version of slashdot optimized for both the iPhone5 and iPad4.

But no animated GIFs, unless they are "click to launch animation on new page".

Also, where is the successor to JPEG? Mumbledy PEG?

All Your Bases Belonging to XKCD (2)

Joviex (976416) | more than 2 years ago | (#41076819)

Considering /. has become somewhat of a joke for news lately anyway, sure.

Re:All Your Bases Belonging to XKCD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41076851)

That doesn't sound like it was intended seriously, but I defy someone to find a more informative summary of radiation levels than the chart xkcd ran. Or of money and relative costs of government programs. Or gravity wells.

NSFW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41077101)

You can get away with many things (e.g. news, tech articles, forums) if they can be loosely linked to your job. Anything that looks like a comic book gives the impression that you are not working, even if it is a tech article. You can also read WHATEVER if one of your screen has a schema document or some fancy diagram, an XML file, any code or multiple terminals with crap scrolling in them. They all the impression that you do somethings others do not understand and that you are working..... comic book-like news tell your colleagues that you are looking at graphic novels.

just my 10c.... and no, I know if my guys are working without looking at their monitors. It is the typing and facial expression :) not Facebook open with its ugly blue face......

Skeptical (1)

sco08y (615665) | more than 2 years ago | (#41077303)

I'm not saying you can't do serious work this way, since the Army has used Preventative Maintenance Monthly [army.mil] as one of their most successful ways of disseminating general technical knowledge.

But I think it's going to have similar problems as TV journalism, which, except for C-SPAN, is generally awful.

I see problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41078365)

The whole reason script language is so successful is that with a relatively small number of symbols, you can encode virtually any information you can have in drawn form. It's more efficient. Also, there's less potential ambiguity. Cartoons are essentially collections of symbols, and not all symbols mean the same thing to all people. While sloppy use of written language, such as English, can lead to ambiguity, a writer with at least marginal skill and facility in English should have little problem getting a point across with only minimal danger of misinterpretation. Also, how do you site a news story? Would you say, "according to what I read in issue (xx.xx) of (Suchandsuch) News Magazine, in the third frame from the left, in the lower right thought-balloon, under the smiling cat...

It's sad that anyone in a position to make such a change feels seriously that we need our already pre-chewed, pre-digeseted, bite-sized, dumbed-down, fraction-of-a-second attention-span fitted news rendered further into the sub-moronic end of the spectrum. Why not just insist on teaching people to read better?

In Fahrenheit 451... (1)

ArturoBandini77 (2610501) | about 2 years ago | (#41078631)

...all you can read is comics...

It is all about presentation (1)

Quakeulf (2650167) | about 2 years ago | (#41078753)

It seems obvious that the majority of Slashdot commenters will want their plan text, but for many others out there having the text along with some decent imagery has already been done since the invention of the printing press. Remember those elaborate initial letters and angels, demons and ornate framework used to pride books from the old times? This is not new, but what is new is the medium it is presented on and how (in terms of art style) it is done. I see nothing wrong with this. Carry on as you have done over the past 500 years. This comment will be modded troll because it makes sense in a way that conflicts with the average Slashdotters' view of how information should be presented.

Clicked the link for TFA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41078993)

TL; DR

Still images are OK, but no video please (1)

Geeky (90998) | about 2 years ago | (#41079095)

Still images to illustrate text are OK, I can take them or leave them, but not video. It annoys me that a lot of content on the BBC site is now video. If I wanted to watch a video, I'd watch TV. A lot of the time when I'm on the internet I can only read - not listen to audio as well.

For example, it's acceptable at work to read the news sites over your lunchbreak, even Slashdot, but videos would be unacceptable (plus text based sites look sufficiently like work outside of break times on quiet afternoons!). I can read on the train and at any odd moment I like.

Even earphones aren't the answer - I hate in-ear ones, and being deaf in one ear I find them rather disorientating anyway.

Re:Still images are OK, but no video please (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#41083399)

It's infuriating. I'm outside of the UK, but I get some channels via cable. When I see something interesting (like a musician or other guest on the morning news) & I go to their trainwreck of a website to check their name for future reference all I get is the iPlayer which spins for two fucking minutes and then tells me the content isn't available where I am. Why invoke it all then - if it knows by my IP it could simply not put the bastarding tags in to start with. Often there's zero text content except the names of the presenters which are pretty regular anyway.

And why aren't there transcripts? In most cases a text form exists somewhere, for the subbies (one thing the BBC does better than most is cater to deaf viewers).

Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt with Joe Sacco (1)

turp182 (1020263) | about 2 years ago | (#41079741)

I just finished Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco's new book , Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt. The book is about specific examples of unbounded capitalism in the US and how it destroys the communities.

I found the illustrations made the book a faster read (of course it would have been shorter otherwise), but I really like the "comic" style used in each section to portray the events described in specific interviews. It was a really interesting approach that I hadn't really seen before, at least in non-fiction.

You can see what I'm describing starting on page 25 on the Amazon Look Inside area:
http://www.amazon.com/Days-Destruction-Revolt-Chris-Hedges/dp/1568586434/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1345639118&sr=8-3&keywords=joe+sacco#reader_1568586434 [amazon.com]

Anyway, I think it could be good experiment, running a line between video and pure text content, allowing for graphic depiction of things without the associated production costs.

Educating voters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41079757)

A very large percentage of the uneducated ignorant electorate gets its news from the Cartoon Channel and from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, so it may be to our advantage to have news presented in a cartoon format for those voters. The cartoons would be something easily understood by the typical Obama supporter.

Doesn't a taiwanese news channel already do this? (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 2 years ago | (#41080641)

Swear I remember a story a year ago or so about a Taiwan news channel creating simple 3d videos to illustrate news stories they dont have footage of.

NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41081251)

NO IN FACT I WOULD NOT. I AM AN ADULT AND I AM ABLE TO READ.

This constant infantilization doesn't stop, does it? Good god.

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