By all accounts, the economy of Rockford, Illinois, my old stomping grounds, is in tough shape. Highest unemployment in Illinois. (Just across the state border, Beloit has the highest unemployment rate in Wisconsin.) The Rockford Register-Star publishes a monthly infographic summing up the conditions and trends:
Lots of information in one table at just the right level of detail. A terrific infographic. Except they don't quite publish it that way. They make one change that makes the graph much better for their readers in the Rockford area. Here's what they actually publish:
All the same information is there, but toning down the fire-engine red makes the graph much more palatable for the Rockford Register-Star readers. It makes the negative indicators less garish, and makes the few positive indicators stand out even more. Look, the folks of Rockford, Illinois know all too well how tough their situation is; they don't need to be slapped in the face with it, least of all by their local newspaper that is struggling desperately to hang on to every single reader.
Kudos to Alex Gary of the Rockford Register-Star for this infographic. Well Done!