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Simon Rogers, news editor, graphics at The Guardian describes a typical day

Simon sits on the news desk and is in charge of co-ordinating graphics that tell and illuminate stories at The Guardian. He works with the head of graphics and graphic designers to ensure that images are fully integrated into the editorial process, rather than just used as add-on illustrations. Rogers also edits The Guardian’s datablog,, which presents data from around the world using visuals that present complex information in straightforward ways. Rogers is justly proud of the clear way the Guardian portrays facts and figures, saying that “people come to us to get the best data set there is”.

Rogers journalism career began on trade magazines The Lawyer and Brand Strategy followed by four years at the Big Issue in the mid 1990s, when this paper was running interviews with leading opinion formers and politicians, including Tony Blair. Rogers joined The Guardian in 1999 and was launch editor of Guardian Unlimited News, and other roles at the paper have included editing the science section.

More recently, Rogers says he has become ‘obsessed’ with Twitter, in particular the growing number of followers of the Guardian’s datablog as this is increasing at an incredible rate (see He believe this shows there is a huge desire for information , and he is happy to feed this desire by providing facts and figures in easily accessible formats. 

My day

9:00am - I drop my daughter off at school, before cycling to the office alongside the canal.

9:30am - Tidy up the datablog. This morning (19 May), I updated the MPs’ expenses listing.

10:00am - This is the first editorial meeting of the day when we go through the day‘s issue. Anyone can go to this meeting on our paper so there are often between 60 to 70 people present.

10:30am - Time to work out stories of the day. I commission graphics and writers, and chat to main news editors from each section. I am still not 100 per cent sure what will be in the paper, so it is useful to go through all reports thoroughly.

12:00am - This is the main editorial meeting with duty editors and editors from each section, I expect to see 15 to 20 people there. This is when we discuss the real specifics of day ahead, the nitty gritty. Today, for example, we knew by this time that the speaker of the House of Commons, Michael Martin had announced his resignation.

12:45pm - We now need to get all the stories sorted. Those working on graphics need information as quickly as possible so that they can get on with their work. I end up working most lunchtimes and I have only managed to have lunch out five times since December. Now is the time I really crack on with the day, getting information in and making sure the right people get it on time.

2:00pm - Time to update the datablog. Today there is lots of information coming in from the United States about carbon emissions, so I first deal with this.

4:00pm - This is when the graphics come back, we get about six to seven in a day. We then do annotations on the design desk. Last update was a map of the world showing swine fever outbreaks. It is important to check these and make sure all the figures are correct.

5:00pm - The forward-planning meeting which around eight or so people attend, including head of news and section editors with each forward planning editor.

5.30pm - Time for the news wall. All the pages of the paper are displayed and last-minute graphic requests are made at that point.

7:00pm - This is a typical time that I leave, on a good day it can be as early as 6.30pm, but it can also be as late as 9pm.

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