A COUPLE of weeks ago this paper proudly trumpeted Lismore's potential as the solar capital of the world, citing previous stories which brandished the 2480 postcode as the number one solar user in NSW.
Which wasn't a lie. Not at all. It's just that it didn't tell the whole truth, not like the facts captured by a beautiful bit of visual journalism published online by www.guardian.co.uk.
The map's interactive data, taken from Clean Energy Regulator figures and analysed by solar lobby group and Lismore consultant SunWiz, showed instantly that we lagged behind our Queensland neighbours in the solar stakes. We were coloured in salmon but the Tweed was more of a vermillion. That's how good they are at harnessing the sun.
Another nice online map, created by the folk at Regional Australia Institute found the Northern Rivers ranked third out of 55 national regions for the transparency of our local government. This heartening bit of pixelated truth can be found at regionalaustralia.org.au.
Pictures do paint a thousands words, and as someone who has mortgaged her life away in HECs debts to learn the quaint and almost redundant art of writing, I should be railing against the visual medium.
But instead I welcome the data-rich visual era. I welcome students sharing Instagrams of protests and gigs. I welcome interactive maps which tell the whole truth and rely on numbers rather than weaselly words.
Mostly I welcome a world without the hubris of the major metro papers, which have the gall to tell the government what to do with its leader, and do so in the half-truths of the printed word.
If you have a camera or a social media account, you have a story to tell, and I don't care if you put me out of a job.
But in the interim could you please send me your bits of digital truth. I would love to share them even if they are illustrated by a few inadequate words.
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