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Evening with Alberto Cairo


Alberto Cairo, Knight Chair in Visual Journalism at the University of Miami School of Communication, will lecture on key issues facing journalists, researchers and designers in conveying clear, compelling and accurate data in a visual format.

“Widely acknowledged as journalism’s preeminent data viz wiz, Alberto Cairo is one of journalism’s preeminent data scholars. As newsrooms rush to embrace data journalism as a new tool—and toy—Cairo sets the standard for how data should be understood, analyzed, and presented.” – Jeff Jarvis, professor at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and author of Geeks Bearing Gifts: Imagining New Futures for News.

I foresee that, depending on your political leanings, your expectations for this lecture tour are diametrically opposed. If you are a liberal, you’re likely prepared to enjoy a tirade against right-wing politicians. If you are a conservative, I bet you’ll be ready to get outraged by an unhinged leftist ranter.

Sorry to disappoint you. The very title of my talk is an example of its content. It’s intended to trigger your ideological defenses and trick you into believing what is not so.

The English word “trumpery” means worthless nonsense, something that is showy and deceitful at the same time. Trumpery can occur in text, verbally, or visually. This non-partisan talk focuses on the visual, examining misleading charts, graphs, and data maps designed by individuals and organizations from across the political spectrum.

I’ll use these examples to equip you with a solid understanding of “graphicacy,” the term I use to refer to visual literacy. I believe a literate, numerate, and graphicate citizenry is the best antidote for a world where trumpery runs rampant. 

Join me in the fight against it. -Alberto

Presented by the School of Journalism and Information Design & Visualization program at Northeastern University’s College of Arts, Media and Design.