The Guardian Makes Budget Cuts Fun

Well, not really. But a new online tool from The Guardian makes it fun to learn just how hard it is to cut the budget. The excellent data team at the UK site, upon whom I have already heaped loads of praise, is at it again with an interactive graph representing the UK budget.

Click on a governmental department to start making cuts, then decide what percentage or particular program to cut within that department. Go through the whole budget and get a glimpse of the headache involved in this kind of work. It’s like a game, really; with each department you cut, you compare your total to the £49 billion that George Osborne, chancellor of the exchequer in the UK Parliament, has announced he is cutting in the latest spending review.

This is the best type of interactive tool that a news site can invest its time and energy in: one that helps readers painlessly grasp a complicated story, and that provides them with the details they need to question and inform their own opinions.

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Lauren Kirchner is a freelance writer covering digital security for CJR. Find her on Twitter at @lkirchner