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2023 – the year in infographics

We’ve published dozens of infographics over the past 12 months, and as 2023 draws to a close it’s time to tell the story of the past year in data visualisations. And yes, we do realise that October-December 2022 is not technically part of 2023, but as a Slow Journalism magazine we only got round to reporting on those months early in this year (and October-December 2023 is still a work-in-progress). Here’s our year in infographics.


October 2022: Elon Musk’s Twitter storm
It’s been quite a year for the world’s wealthiest person, whose long-drawn-out purchase of Twitter was confirmed in October 2022. To mark this landmark moment in social media history, in issue 49 of Delayed Gratification we looked at the free-speech absolutist’s eventful opening phase of involvement with the platform. Remarkably, despite the headline of this infographic, the bigger storms were still to come; this all happened before Musk renamed the platform X, seemingly endorsed an antisemitic conspiracy theory, and told advertisers who pulled millions of dollars from the platform to “go f**k yourselves”.

 

November 2022: The butterfly effect
In a televised November 2022 event endured by millions, former health secretary and professional cringe-inducer Matt Hancock ate cow anus and camel penis with Boy George in the jungle. In issue 49 we tried to find out exactly how humanity reached this nadir. It turns out Russian mystic and Eurodisco icon Rasputin was responsible…

 

December 2022: The World Cup where everyone wins
Argentina were crowned football’s world champions in December after defeating France in one of the all-time great international matches. But it doesn’t seem fair that only one team got to leave Qatar glowing with winning pride. In this infographic we acknowledged that every team excelled at something…

 

January 2023: Prince Harry and Meghan’s favourability
Prince Harry’s memoir Spare sold extraordinarily well, especially when you consider that on the day it was released he had never been less popular. In issue 50 of Delayed Gratification we tracked Harry and Meghan’s favourability rankings in the UK after they stepped back from the royal family.

 

February 2023: The Burt locker
Burt Bacharach, the ultimate pop composer, passed away in February. To celebrate his life and work, in DG#50 we created this hit-laden Bacharachographic

 

March 2023: Look who’s talking
In March 2023 Everything Everywhere All at Once was triumphant at the 95th Academy Awards. When Michelle Yeoh called out Hollywood sexism in her speech, her criticism was backed by the data. We looked at more than 30 years of best picture-winning movies to see how many words were spoken by male characters, and how many were spoken by female characters.

Male characters in Oscar-winning films infographic

 

April 2023: Teflon turkeys
In April the Super Mario Bros. Movie got mediocre reviews but that didn’t prevent it from being a commercial mega-success, making more than $1.4 billion at the box office. Under arguably the silliest – and best – headline in the history of the magazine, we looked back at the blockbusters that the critics couldn’t kill.
May 2023: Emotional intelligence
In May, a computer scientist known as the ‘Godfather of AI’ quit his job at Google so he could speak freely about the potential dangers of this new technology. Reading about AI in the press can be an emotional rollercoaster – one minute it’s going to cure all diseases and greatly improve the quality of our lives, the next it’s going to get its revenge on humanity by leading us to doomsday. We analysed the emotional tenor of news headlines on the topic to gauge the public mood.

 

June 2023: In too deep
The story of the Titan submersible, which imploded during an expedition to view the wreck of the Titanic, gripped the world. All five adventurers onboard the vehicle died, but how far down were they aiming to go before tragedy struck?
July 2023: Moon landings
In July India’s lunar-exploration mission took off and a few weeks later it successfully landed near the south pole of the moon. To mark the occasion we charted every successful mission to the moon’s surface.

August 2023: Gag economy
Every August the world’s comedians flock to the Edinburgh Fringe arts festival, where they can perform to half-empty rooms, question their choice of career and face a desperate struggle to break even. But every year a few talented performers break through and make a name for themselves, and getting your joke shortlisted for TV channel Dave’s ‘Funniest Joke of the Fringe’ award is a massive boost. To see if brevity is really the soul of wit we took all 150 jokes shortlisted for the award since its first year in 2008 to find the snappiest one-liners of all.

September 2023: Shake that and party
Some might argue that there were more important things going on in the world in September than Negroni Week, “a celebration of one of the world’s great cocktails and an effort to raise money for charitable causes around the world.” But it’s nearly Christmas, and we thought we’d leave you with some highly practical advice for the party season.

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