# Mastering math by Ron Nixon

67 %
33 %
Information about Mastering math by Ron Nixon

Published on March 6, 2014

Author: BizJournalism

Source: slideshare.net

## Description

These slides were part of a session on Mastering Math to Tell Better Stories by Ron Nixon of the New York Times.

Do the Math: A Basic guide for using numbers in stories Adopted from former IRE training Director David Donald with additions by Ron Nixon

The Truth About Numbers! • Figures don’t lie, but liars figure—Mark Twain.

Innumeracy • • • • No math required by my j-school. Math ignorance as badge of honor. We’ve got our nerd. My source will give me the numbers we need. • Numbers are hard, solid, cold facts.

Numeracy • Numbers are a summary of the real world. • Many numbers often are a guess. • Many numbers often are an opinion.

“Building a Sense of Scale” • Population of City, County, State and Country • Average Household Income • Size of the U.S. Economy • City, County and State Budget

Numbers v. words • No more than two or three numbers in a paragraph. • No more than one, maybe two, paragraphs in a row with numbers. • Dates, time, spelled-out numbers count. • Memorize common numbers on your beat. Think is this number up or down, big or small.

Numbers v. words • Round off – and then maybe round off some more. • Learn to convert to simple ratios to keep your numbers small. • Always double-check your math answers. No, better triple-check.

Use Devices from Everyday Life • “About the size of a football field” • “The equivalent of pouring a teaspoon of water in a lake.” • “Three times as high as …….”

Numbers v. words • The editor’s question – Does this number make sense? • So … When all the above fails, numbers belong in graphics – bar charts, tables and – at last resort – a bulleted break-out box.

Graphics • Take your graphic artist or graphic reporter to lunch. • Do your calculations and bar charts in Excel, then export to Adobe Illustrator or Freehand. • Learn some principles of good graphics to have quality conversations with your graphic folks.

More Resources • Damned Lies and Statistics—Joel Best • A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper— John Allen Paulos • 200% Of Nothing A.K. Dewdney • Inumeracy—John Allen Paulos • Math Tools for Journalist—Kathleen Woodruff Wickham • How to Lie With Statistics—Darrell Huff

Finally … • Essential: Sarah Cohen’s Numbers in the Newsroom http://www.ire.org/store/books/math.html

 User name: Comment:

## Related presentations

#### Cheapest canvas prints shopcanvasprintcom

April 2, 2014

Canvas Prints at Affordable Prices make you smile.Visit http://www.shopcanvasprint...

#### Paseo en bici por la historia del comercio gijones

April 1, 2014

30 Días en Bici en Gijón organiza un recorrido por los comercios históricos de la ...

#### Meta anlysis of 5 spanish ropo studies minerva ove...

April 1, 2014

Con el fin de conocer mejor el rol que juega internet en el proceso de compra en E...

#### Informa Whitepaper - The Rise of Australia's LNG I...

April 1, 2014

With three established projects across the country and seven more in the pipeline,...

#### Decoding Retail StartUp : Comprehensive Roll-Out S...

April 1, 2014

Retailing is not a rocket science, neither it's walk-in-the-park. In this presenta...

#### What is research??

April 2, 2014

Explanatory definitions of research in depth...

## Related pages

### 5 Tips For Using Numbers In Your Story - Reynolds Center

Mastering math by Ron Nixon from Reynolds Center for Business Journalism. Related Posts. 5 Tips To Survive The Nightmare of Holiday Travel; 5 Tips For ...

### Authentic Inquiry Maths: Mastering Math - The Musical

Mastering Math - The Musical ... It is called "Mastering Math" by Ron Fink and John Heath. It's going to be an epic performance ...

### MasteringPhysics | Pearson

MasteringPhysics ™ Exciting changes ... MyLab & Mastering reacts to how students are actually performing, ...