Creating Interactive Graphics at USA Today

sara-wise-usat By Dean’s Intern Sara Wise at USA Today

As part of the graphics team at USA Today, I’ve been learning those programming skills that I know will be useful far beyond my career. I’ve helped to consistently update an interactive piece tracking the president’s cabinet as confirmations are made. I’ve contributed my own input to graphics used in national news stories. I provide copy for some of the “snapshots” printed daily and seen in social media posts.

So far, it seems, my crowning moment has been making a gif. So don’t let anyone tell you that’s not a resume-building skill! The graphic was used in three different stories pertaining to President Trump’s immigration regulations. I was able to contribute something that, I felt, really enhanced the design of a graphic that was then used on at least three different stories across the site.

I’ve also been using my investigative reporting skills to research data for graphics and stories that matter nationwide. I’m starting to work on what, I hope, will be a really great in-depth, multimedia story alongside experienced reporters and my friends on the graphics team. Last but not least, I’m learning about video and motion graphics, including helping to produce a video that will be published across the USA Today network.

In this position, I’ve been able to put my visual journalism mind to the test — which is exactly what I’ve been looking to do and I know I wouldn’t be here without my friends in the Dean’s Internship office, who helped me land this position.