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Being a journalist can be dangerous. One journalist is killed a week on average for doing their job of bringing news and information to the public. Many more suffer other kinds of attacks, threats, and harassments, including imprisonment.
At Visually, we care about freedom of speech for everyone. We know that the world is a better place when we are all allowed to speak our mind without fear of any sort. Expression of thought is critical to creativity and is a core part of being human. Visual communications today are a hot journalistic practice, so we feel this issue applies to the entire designer community just as much as it applies to journalists.
UNESCO also has a major stake in promoting free speech. In 1945, UNESCO was founded in order to respond to the firm belief of nations, forged by two world wars in less than a generation, that political and economic agreements are not enough to build a lasting peace. Peace must be established on the basis of humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity. UNESCO’s mission is to build peace where it starts – in the human mind – through education, science, culture, communication & information, and social & human sciences. UNESCO is a UN agency with a mandate to promote freedom of expression, the cornerstone of democracy, peace, and sustainable development. UNESCO works to foster free, independent and pluralistic media in print, broadcast and online.
When UNESCO approached us about a competition to help raise awareness of impunity, we were totally in! 2014 is the first year for the UN’s International Day to End Impunity, and we happily agreed to help UNESCO run an infographics contest to help raise awareness of the cause. Without further ado, here are the contest details:
Submissions should highlight the data that UNESCO has compiled on the killings of media workers worldwide from 2006-2013. Our goal behind this contest is to create original visual material that will heighten global awareness of the issue of impunity, and its devastating effect on journalist safety and freedom of expression. The graphic should have a focus on moving forward, using the data on the current state of things as a point of reference, not simply reporting on what exists or being critical. Since the main goal is awareness, it should be something that people are eager to share with their social circles. The aesthetic challenge is to make this grim topic shareable while still communicating the seriousness of the issue. The graphic above is an example only, and shouldn’t be used inspiration for style or messaging.
Ming Kuok Lim: UNESCO Program Specialist, focusing on freedom of expression, with special attention to press freedom.
Sylvie Coudray: Chief of UNESCO’s program in Freedom of Expression
Neil Ford: UNESCO’s Director of Public Information
Drew Skau: Visually’s Visualization Architect
Judges will grade entries on the following points:
- Infographic looks forward and promotes a constructive discussion on impunity. This could involve hashtags, open questions
- Data is represented clearly and accurately. Information sources other than the original document must be credited.
- The infographic’s design should be attractive and captivating without detracting from the communication of the information. Illustrations, layout, font, and color choices are all important. This is a sad issue, but the infographic doesn’t need to look depressing to communicate the weight of the topic. This should be something that people are eager to share as a trigger to open up insightful discussion.
Each judge gets 10 points per category. All categories are totaled for each group. Highest total wins.
All entries to the competition should be licensed under creative commons so that the entries may be used in whole or part as educational materials anywhere. The creative commons attribution 4.0 sign should be included somewhere on the design.
The winning entries will be asked to add the logos of UNESCO and Visually, along with their own logo or name.
Submissions should be reasonable aspect ratios, built for the modern world of sharing. Infographics with extremely long, skinny formats do not perform well in social feeds. Ideally we are looking for something around A4 proportions. File types can be any standard image format, PSD, AI, or PDF.
After the winner is selected, the infographic will be translated into at least seven languages (English, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, French, and Chinese) so feel free to create/submit in any language you prefer.
Send all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, October 17 11:59:00 PM PDT.
This is a winner take all competition. The contest winner will be receiving $2,000 from UNESCO! There may be opportunities for the top entries to work directly with UNESCO on future projects. The winning infographic and all honorable mentions will receive the highest promotional coverage at the United Nations level. There are also opportunities for pickup by UNESCO’s international media partners.