I've been busy preparing for a trip abroad, about which I'll post anon, but this short video reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend recently about the power of the graphic to convey complex information quickly and directly. My friend's example was a map drawn by Charles Joseph Minard in 1869 that shows Napoleon's disastrous march on Moscow in 1812. The graphic shows, by the thickness of the line, the attrition of Napoleon's troops and illustrates brilliantly the effect of the long march and the winter weather.
For more on information graphics check out Edward Tufte's website.
Now that we get so much information from websites I would expect designers to be better at using graphics not just to prettify and amuse but as core features of well produced journalism. Illustrators should be taking (maybe retaking) their place alongside writes and photographers as news-gatherers and reporters.