Yes, editors sometimes do spoil a good thing
July 7th, 2005 by JTJ

We agree, there can be many reasons not to run a map in the IoP
(Ink-on-Paper) version of a newspaper.  And maps are sometimes run
more as a graphic element in the page design than as a tool to tell a
story in a better way.  (Although this seems to happen less as
“design and information consciousness” has
percolated through
journalism thanks to organizations like the
Society for News Design.)  
Still, if a decision is made to use a map, then that graphic should
add to the readers' understanding of usually complex data.

Last week, the
Palm Beach [Florida] Post
carried a map showing the home county of U.S. troops killed in Iraq. 
The problem is, the KIA map shows the number killed without taking into
account the size of the population from which those troops were
recruited.  Is there a better way?  Of course, and the folks in the newsroom trenches had produced one: a
map showing
the KIA's relative to the population of the county where the soldiers
were from.  This one, of course, supplies some of the appropriate
context.  The problem was, the editors decided to publish the
traditional-but-misleading map. 


Here is another on the same topic:

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