Data tells a story, and when it’s in the hands of Mona Chalabi, data editor for The Guardian U.S., the tale can be riveting. The London- born, New York–based journalist of Iraqi descent has made a career of creating striking visualizations that highlight unexpected issues ranging from female hair-removal to anti-Semitism in Europe, which have been shared as many as 2.2 million times on her personal Instagram account. Recently, she has garnered attention for depicting statistics related to the novel coronavirus and police brutality targeting Black people in the United States. Here, Chalabi— who has also hosted and produced Strange Bird, a Guardian podcast on how numbers shape our lives—talks about bias in data collecting, how she developed her signature style, and why she makes graphics for her least-informed reader first.
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October - November 2020