Quealy Visualizes Journalism

Kevin Quealy, New York Times Graphics Editor Speaks at ESU
Photo / Dana Reese
Kevin Quealy, New York Times Graphics Editor Speaks at ESU
Photo / Dana Reese

SC A&E Editor


East Stroudsburg University welcomed, Kevin Quealy, a graphics editor at the New York Times for a discussion about his career at the paper.

A native of Minneapolis, Quealy is a part of a 30-person graphics design team for the Times, and an adjunct professor at New York University. He received his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism and performed volunteer work in South Africa with the Peace Corps.

“I am a Graphics Editor at The New York Times, not The Graphics Editor of The New York Times. I am not in charge of anything; I just wanted to clear that up,” Quealy said.

Quealy opened up his presentation with a graphic that caught the eye of celebrity Ashton Kutcher.

“One Race, Every Medalist Ever,” is a graphic Quealy created for Usain Bolt’s Olympic record. The graphic compares Usain Bolt’s record to every other Olympic medalist through time; it tells its own story.

Quealy attempted to explain exactly what it is he does: “We take data and turn it into something more accessible; we research and create the diagrams, maps, and charts for the newspaper and the website. We consider ourselves journalists.”

The New York Times graphics design team is a diverse group with a wide variety of skills. Their college majors vary anywhere from urban studies and journalism to economics and cartography.

“It’s hard to talk about graphics” because they speak for themsevles, Quealy said.

Quealy showed a presentation called, “Pushing Science Limits in Sign Language Lexicon.” In it, viewers can follow sign language interpreter Lydia Callis, as she demonstrates new advances in sign language for science. It is the kind of story that needs to be more than just read, but more so visualized.

“Kevin Quealy’s presentation was definitely something that will stick with me, and it motivated me to never give up on my career. It was an honor to have him come to the university,” said ESU Junior Tamara Hadeed.

Quealy did not end his presentation without some wise words for young journalists. He explained the importance of being skilled at more than just one thing: He went on to describe the importance of learning computer programs such as JavaScript and CSS.

Living in a world where technology is growing every day and having that knowledge is borderline mandatory.

Quealy projected an enlarged photo of himself, hands on his head in a gesture of dismay, covered and declared: “We need help.”

Email Val at: