An article in this week's The Bhutanese showed data supporting "a study by the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry [which] shows that government expenditure and government projects are the main cause behind the rupee shortage." The following line graph was used to show the data (unfortunately, images are unavailable on the newspaper's website). The chart compares government spending with three other expenditures from (I think) 1995 to July 2011.
While a line graph is an effective way to compare trends, there are a few issues that must be kept in mind to avoid confusing the reader. Let's look at this chart carefully: First, the year labels are confusing. Second, are lines connecting annual numbers? monthly numbers? or perhaps some other aggregation? Third, the choice of line colors is quite hard to read, especially on the grey background. Try to follow the Rupee Reserves line. And fourth, the goal of a chart is to highlight the information for our story, not to dazzle us with color and bling. While the four lines and the legend are information, all those horizontal gridlines and background shading are distracting non-information.
These are just some guidelines for producing effective charts. Unfortunately, I do not have access to the data so I cannot produce an "improved" chart that more clearly communicates the message. Creating good charts is crucial for communicating news stories and convincing the audience. To learn more and improve your skills, you are welcome to join the Effective Data Presentation workshop.