2 thoughts on “Some States Pay for Other’s Bad Weather by Emma Thorne & Ezra Eeman

  1. Ezra, Emma:
    Your final is a result of deep and thoughtful analysis, persistent reporting, and successful risk-taking in new visualization tools. Overall, an excellent story told with effective data visualizations.
    Your headline is informative and not at all a label (great!), but could be even more compelling. It’s a little weak and needs to be provocative and more evocative of the disparities between states. The intro text sets the stage nicely, though the transition to the historical flood events is awkward–you leave the reader in the first graph by asking, “who’s paying for all the damage?”, yet the next section we see is the flood events.
    The flood event graphic is thorough and informative. I applaud your efforts at using the interactive timeline/map, though I would argue that, in the end, a static map that showed ALL the major flood events would get to your point more directly. That point being: floods hit the nation UNequally. Is the time factor really important in this story? Also, seeing the sizes of markers indicate damage could give a second level of information. That aside, it’s a compact and rich graphic.
    Your bar graphs are clear and visually-appealing. Great job in highlighting the states in the extreme cases, but make sure you help the reader quickly make sense of what they’re seeing: Payments and Premiums can get confusing, so consider more vernacular ways of saying this and summing up the important points…Who Pays? and Who Benefits? could be two separate headers over your bulleted points of the states (LA, FL, MS, CA) to help organize that list. Labeling is important–why are we seeing those particular states in the first bar graph? And in the second graph, can you label the horizontal axis on the two extreme ends to help us understand the ratio? (on the right, it’s “paying more than they get”, and on the far left, it’s “getting more than they pay”)
    Finally, I would move your paragraph about re-evaluating the program to the very end…it’s a good closer that belongs at the end because you raise important questions.

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