Saturday, 17 October 2009

So what is two times 18,000?

When I started this blog I said I would look occasionally at the use of maths and statistics. Journalists are not known for their numeric skills and this is ably demonstrated by a story that went round the wires a couple of days ago. To quote just one such headline from the web coverage: " Swine flu rate doubled last week, according to new figures" and it goes on to say: "There were 27,000 confirmed new cases of H1N1 swine flu last week, an increase on the 18,000 cases the previous week..." So twice times 18,000 is 27,000? Er, shurely shome mishtake! I also said I'd criticise any irresponsible journalism but the Daily Mail just makes that too easy. I'll wait until a paper with some credibility starts doing daft things.

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