Friday, 17 Nov 2017


Sorry, Wrong Number

From the Columbia Journalism Review:

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. This fear combines with a lack of training to rank numerical errors among the most common mistakes made by journalists. I have an ever-expanding archive of these errors.

But it’s time to recognize that handling and interpreting math and numbers are some of the cornerstones of journalism. “As newspapers and news magazines chart a new course for themselves where they have to explain rather than just report, what’s happening is that our reliance on math and numbers becomes even more important, rather than less so,” Maier said.

I’m asking you to post a response that demonstrates you have read and reflected on the whole article (not just the excerpt above). Please consider especially the short list of different kinds of numbers-related errors that crop up in journalism.


  1. megansmoulder says:

    There are typos and not fact checking errors in math too

  2. courtneywilliams says:

    Verify sources and produce a truthful story

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