I just read an article on Business Insider that charted the downfall of MSNBC. It was a fascinating read, but I couldn’t help but get distracted by the charts they used, especially given that the article title was:
Powerful stuff. The problem is that the charts are deceptive. For example, the first one:
Every chart on the page is the same (though to a lesser extent) - the only exception was the chart showing Fox News’ huge lead in audience, which correctly starts at zero:
I’m not trying to attribute malice here- as I was putting that example chart together, I was surprised to see that Google Docs does this automatically, so it could well be a simple mistake. But consider this a reminder: always check your axes, otherwise you might end up misleading your readers.