More Numerate: Numbers & Evidence for News Writers

Recommended Readings (General)

- Bialik, C. (2007, September 7). How policy makers use number analyses to turn our heads. Wall Street Journal (p. B1).
- Brown, N. R. (2002). Real-world estimation: Estimation modes and seeding effects. In B. H. Ross (Ed.), The psychology of learning and motivation: Advances in research and theory (Vol. 41, pp. 321-359). New York: Academic Press.
- Cohen, S. (2001). Numbers in the newsroom. Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc.
- Cohn, V., & Cope, L., (2001). News & numbers: A guide to reporting statistical claims and controversies in health and other fields. Blackwell Publishing Professional.
- Huff, D. (1991). How to lie with statistics. Penguin Books Ltd
- Levitt, S. D. & Dubner, S. J. (2005). Freakonomics: A rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything. New York: HarperCollins.
- Merritt, D. (2005). Knightfall: Knight ridder and how the erosion of newspaper journalism is putting democracy at risk. New York: American Management Association.
- Meyer, P. (2004). The vanishing newspaper: Saving journalism in the information age. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press.
- Paulos, J. A. (1995). A mathematician reads the newspaper. New York: Anchor Books.
- Wickham, K. W. (2003). Math tools for journalists. Marion Street Press.

Compiled Statistics

- FedStats. FedStats provides easy access to statistics and information produced by more than 100 US Federal Government agencies.
- US Census Bureau. Statistical data on people and households, business and industry, and geography.
- U.S. Bureau of Justice. Statistics on crime, law enforcement, and corrections.
- United Nations Statistics Division. The UN Statistics Division is committed to the advancement of the global statistical system. It compiles and disseminates global statistical information, develop standards and norms for statistical activities, and support countries' efforts to strengthen their national statistical systems.
- Library Spot. Links to a number of web sites that have statistics on population, economy, crime, labor, and more.
- Gallup Poll. Data from national and international polls on human nature and behavior.
- Visualizing Econonomics. Visualizations of eonomic data through thematic maps such as "Where do Britain's rich and poor live?" and the "United States Household Income Map".
- Gapminder. Excellent visualization visualizations of (mostly UN) world statistics.
- fivethirtyeight.come and Princeton Election Consortium. Accumulate and analyze polling and political data and present predictions of outcomes of upcoming elections.
- Toxic Air and America's Schools. USA TODAY used an EPA model to track the path of industrial pollution and mapped the locations of over 100,000 schools to determine the levels of toxic chemicals outside. Query by school, city, state or view most polluted schools by state.

Readings in Statistics

- FACSNET. Tools, sources and resources to help journalists provide the public with the highest quality information and insight.
- Quantitative Literacy. Video of experts talking about the nature of quantitative literacy and its applications, and online resources that address this topic.
- Benford's Law and Assessing Data Authenticity with Benford's Law. Simple approach to examine the authenticity of data based on the frequency of leading digits.
- Chance Project, Dartmouth project on teaching probability. Be sure to drill into the Audio/Video lectures in left margin.
- Computer-assisted reporting and data analysis at Knight Ridder newspapers.
- Electronic Statistics Textbook. Training in the understanding and application of statistics.
- Finding Data on the Internet. A journalist's guide to some of the best sources online to check facts, find statistics and track down reputable information.
- Louisville, KY Databases. Excellent example of a newspaper that has built a database of databases for the community.
- Mark Migrini's CHANCE lecture at Dartmouth. Good overview of the law and applicable data sets.
- Statistical and Demographic Resources for Journalists. A variety of online resources (quick facts, statistics, math tutorials, etc.) for journalists.
- Statistics Resources. A blog that brings together Internet resources and sources on an ongoing basis.
- Use of Excel for Statistical Analysis. Practical implications of deficiencies in Excel's statistical procedures.
- Ask the economists: Statistics - separating facts from fiction. Can we trust official statistics? Do they give us a true picture of how societies are changing?
- Tools for statistics & numbers. How poll sampling works, where to get reliable numbers online, how to interpret key statistical terms, and more.
- Mathematics for Economics: Enhancing Teaching and Learning. Resources to assist the teaching of economics, including streaming videos, teaching and learning guides, and a question bank. The exercises include those drawing on algebra, number theory, and differentiation, and learning guides address linear equations, finance growth, and other topics.
- University of Wollongong: Statistical Literacy A series of modules to help users become more knowledgeable about surveys and scientific experiments. Currently the site offers two modules: "Producing Data" and "Describing, Clarifying and Presenting Data".

Statistical Tools

- Applets at Dartmouth. Applets on this page will explain how "bin size" will effect the distributions in a histogram or what the "central limit theorem" is all about.
- Betty Jung's Statistical Procedures Site. Summary of common statistical procedures.
- Elementary Statistics Tutorial Page. Summary of common statistical procedures.
- Excel For Statistical Data Analysis. An introduction to the basics of and working with the Excel, a tool to understand statistical concepts and computation to check your hand-worked calculation in solving your homework problems.
- Free Statistical Software. A rich site with links to dozens of quantitative and statistical tools for data analysis.
- Introduction to Statistical Analyses. Biology undergraduates (like journalism undergrads) generally treat statistics like bubonic plague. This web-site will allay your fears and provide help on those statistical tests commonly used in the life-sciences.
- The R Project. A free software environment for statistical computing and graphics. It compiles and runs on a wide variety platforms.
- Statistics Every Writer Should Know. A simple guide to understanding basic statistics, for journalists and other writers who might not know math.
- StatPages. Free, conveniently-accessible, multi-platform statistical software, and links to online statistics books, tutorials, downloadable software, and related resources.
- StatPac. Software to perform a series of basic statistical procedures.
- Statistical Applications Page at Brigham Young University. Links to tutorials and other training materials for four statistical applications: SPSS, SAS, S-Plus and Stata.
- OpenLearn: Mathematics and Statistics. Instructional units in both math and science from the Open University.
- SOCR: Statistics Online Computational Resource. Aids for probability and statistics education, technology based instruction, and statistical computing.

Commercial Products for Statistical Analysis

- Minitab Statistical Software. Expensive, but a rich analytic tool.
- SAS and JMP. SAS has a variety of products for analyzing various type of data, including JMP, which is cheaper and somewhat easier for beginners to learn.
- SPSS. Along with SAS, one of the Big Two in the world of commercial statistical applications.

Other

- Health numeracy (mp3). How patients' capacity to understand numbers affects their glucose control ability.