Saturday, November 21, 2009

Journalism and Maths-oil and water?

Should journalists be good at Maths?

Well certainly according to Scott Maier, an associate professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, (via CJR) which reports that every year he asks

his students to raise their hands if they went into journalism because they love writing. Unsurprisingly, most of them put their hands in the air.
adding that

“Then I ask how many of them got into journalism because they love math and numbers, and the hands that stay up are pretty few,” he said. “In many cases, they got into journalism to stay away from maths.”

It is an interesting point for as they point out

Almost every story contains a number, be it a statistic, an address, or someone’s age. Journalists deal with numbers every single day, and yet so many of us willingly profess ignorance or fear when faced with simple arithmetic.

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