Täällä asuvat Suomen journalistit – This is where the journalists of Finland live by Julius Uusikylä

A full spread infographic for the monthly print magazine Journalisti, March issue of 2023, by the info design agency KRUT.

The magazine, published by the journalists union of Finland, wanted to visualise where people working as journalists live. Are there any "blank spots" in the country? They collected data on journalists per postal code area from their own membership data and combined it with data on the total number of inhabitans on the postal code areas. I got this three column data table and was asked to visualise it geographically.

One finding was that over half of the postal code areas in Finland have no journalists among their inhabitants, but we wanted a more nuanced picture on how the journalists are spread. Finland is a vast country with low population density, and it could be seen that where journalists are few, also inhabitants in general mostly are few.

I had a clear idea that this should be a map, but not a choropleth, so I decided on a dot density map.

I combined the data on journalists/inhabitants with the geographical shape data on postal codes from Statistics Finland to make a dot density map using QGIS. Here the right amount of dots, according to the data table, has been randomly distributed within each postal code area. As the journalists are few compared to the total numbers of inhabitants, the inhabitants are represented as 30 people per dot, and journalists as 3 people per dot. 3 per dot was also used to not be able to single out individuals on the map. Using different ratios for inhabitans and journalists i think is fair, as we want to show the spread of journalists over the country, not to show e.g. how a popular profession it is among inhabitants in different areas (which the map does not show!)

The grey dots, being slightly transparent, form a population density map of the country. In fact I realised it draws out the country quite identifiably in itself (at least for its Finnish audience), so I decided on leaving out a basemap, letting the population density itself act as a basemap.

The persons depicted in the infographics are the persons interviewed in the magazine story along the infographic. The borders of their postal code areas are shown.

Some final adjustments were done in Illustrator, but most of the work actually comes from QGIS alone, e.g. finding the correct shade of grey and right amount of transparency of the population dots.

The URL in the form is to the web version of the story. The infographic was however designed for the centerfold of the print magazine, turned 90 degrees.