Sara Dickenson Quinn

Sara teaches in the areas of design, illustration, photojournalism and leadership. She encourages visual journalists to find their voice in the newsroom and to think beyond traditional job descriptions for ways to contribute their ideas, passions and abilities.


How The Verge used visuals to tell the delicate story of a face transplant

The ordeal of a woman who received a total face transplant is hard for an audience to fathom without seeing it. But Verge science editor Katie Drummond had a challenge beyond potentially making some readers squeamish: how to tell the … Read more


How ongoing teamwork fueled The Guardian’s Firestorm interactive

How did The Guardian find a focus for its new multimedia piece, Firestorm?

The project began with inspiration: a striking photograph of a woman and her grandchildren taking shelter from a raging fire in the water under a jetty. … Read more

(AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

Covering Guns: Live coverage of the conference

Poynter's coverage of the Covering Guns conference in Chicago continues Wednesday. (Check out photos of the class trip to a shooting range Tuesday!) You can watch video live below.

Free live streaming by Ustream Here are today's scheduled events (all times EDT): 9-9:30: The Global View: What Journalists Should Know About What Other Countries Do About Guns • Joyce Lee Malcolm, Professor of Law, George Mason University 10:45-noon: Mental Health and Gun Violence • Dr. Gary S. Belkin, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center and Senior Director for Psychiatric Services for the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation 12:15-1:15: Testing the Truth About Gun Claims: The Politifact Way • Bill Adair, Politifact 1:15-2:45: Lunch. Guest speaker • Linda Lutton, WBEZ Chicago - This American Life Poynter's Butch Ward and Al Tompkins will live-blog and moderate a chat throughout the day. You can replay Tuesday's live blog and chat: And here's Monday's live blog and chat: Here's the full conference schedule. In order to prepare for the conversation, consider taking a side trip to Covering Guns, the website Al Tompkins built to go along with the course. The homework section will guide you to the most important parts of the classroom conversations. The conference hashtag is #coveringguns. Poynter will hold a second Covering Guns workshop July 10-12 in the Washington, D.C., area.

How one illustrator approaches investigative reporting

Artist Marina Luz faced a journalistic challenge.

She had to illustrate the story of a young woman named “Jennifer,” who had been sexually abused in a state-run facility. But she could not use an image of Jennifer. What’s more, she … Read more


New York Times’ ‘Seinfeld-esque’ sports page shows the power of nothing

Kapow! Blam! Surprise! Sometimes, that’s what nothing can do.

The New York Times sports staff reminded us of that again with their cover “story” about this year’s Baseball Hall of Fame inductees — or lack, thereof.


This sports front
Read more

Why photo of the First Couple was Obama’s most retweeted ever

Images and graphics are often the things shared most by people after an event of last night’s magnitude.

Photos capture moments frozen in time.

Graphics can distill the complex.

Interactive graphics can allow people to peruse and discover at their … Read more


New Poynter Eyetrack research reveals how people read news on tablets

It’s all about touch.

People were either intimately involved with the iPad screen while reading during our recent eyetracking study — keeping nearly constant contact while touching, tapping, pinching and swiping to adjust their view — or they carefully arranged … Read more

The major prototypes in Poynter's EyeTrack: Tablet project include three styles of entry pages. Development is underway. The project is funded largely by the Knight Foundation.

Poynter ‘EyeTrack: Tablet’ research shows horizontal swiping instinct for photo galleries

Poynter’s “EyeTrack: Tablet” project, the latest in our long tradition of research to understand how readers view news, can now announce some early results: iPad users have an overwhelming instinct to swipe horizontally through a full screen photo gallery, … Read more


Poynter eye-tracking research to determine best strategy for news on tablets

What should we know about the way storytelling and news is presented on tablets?

In 1990, Poynter tested how people read news in print. In 2000 and 2003, we tested how people read news online. Then, we dove into the Read more


4 reasons the Sunday front page now looks a lot like the Monday front page

Where are all of the truly great Sunday, front page designs in the U.S. these days?

As I do my daily run through the Newseum’s collection of front pages, Sunday looks a lot like Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.

“Papers … Read more