News of the World and Twitter, as an infographic

As part of its ongoing coverage of the News of the World scandal involving cell phone hacking, The Guardian has produced a nifty interactive infographic that marries the reaction on Twitter to the story’s development over time.

Much like The New York Times here in the the U.S., the Guardian in the U.K. often makes use of infographics to tell stories, and give added dimensions to stories in other formats.

Infographics are a lot of fun, and add color and a certain sheen to stories. But they’re often difficult to develop, and require individuals with highly specialized skill sets. The added expense often is not justifiable without clear revenue generation.

But for the news organizations that have those resources, they can serve as a great primer for a large and complex story. The author of this FlowingData post explains it well:

So if you weren’t following the story that closely, the graphic helps you understand in a hurry. At any given time, you know who’s involved, what happened, and what others were talking about.

As this story grows in complexity and intrigue, using an interactive infographic may end up being the most effective way to tell the story, in a way that is easiest to understand to someone who isn’t in law enforcement or a journalist.

What do you think? Have you seen any other infographics about the NOTW controversy that incorporates the large-scale reaction on Twitter? If so, please leave a link in the comments, or send us a tweet: @10000words.