Laid-off journalist finds niche in data visualization

Getting laid off is not always a bad thing for a journalist. In the case of Manuel Benito Ingelmo, it created an opportunity for him to develop something he had been thinking about for a long time.

Manuel Benito Ingelmo. Photo by
He was a business journalist in Salamanca, Spain, with an interest in statistics and data visualization.  He felt that print newspapers were definitely on the way out, he told me in an interview via Skype.

"I wanted to make the jump to a digital publication but I did not want to do the same thing as we were doing on paper."

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So when he was laid off from a small daily in 2012, he took his severance package and began to experiment with how to take advantage of the strengths of digital media -- interactivity, instantaneous publication, potential massive audience -- to create a journalistic product or service that would build on databases that were already available.

He and a handful of partners started out by giving away simple graphics on unemployment to media organizations. His idea was that these organizations could use these graphics instead of stock photos of people in unemployment lines. "In just two or three months, we reached 100 media organizations throughout Spain. We found that there was a market niche, the possibility to sell something. Then we had the problem of how much to charge for the service."
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