Can independent organizations make up for the dwindling of Big Media? That's an unsettling question, although there are some glimpses of hope: ProPublica and the Texas Tribune, for instance.  In the case of visualization, would small graphics groups or individuals be able to act as merciless watchdogs if most large organizations vanish? Perhaps, but only if, right after they somehow secure funding, they're true to certain ideals.
But rational persuasion lies at the core of rhetoric, and rhetoric has a noble and long tradition in philosophy and science. It just needs to be handled with care, perhaps even more so when we use it in visual displays of information.
We immortalize the Snows of this world and condemn the Aclands to oblivion. Perhaps we shouldn't. We know too little about the hard-working losers who struggled mightily and mightily failed.
© 2007 and beyond Mario Alberich, licensed under CC-BY-SA unless stated otherwise.