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Published on February 5, 2008

Author: Calogera

Source: authorstream.com

News Releases Published on Special Occasions :  News Releases Published on Special Occasions Ida Repovž Grabnar UNECE Work Session on Statistical Dissemination and Communication September 2006 Statistics is the mirror of society when::  Statistics is the mirror of society when: objective, transparent and politically independent statistics is applied in the country statistics is for whatever reason not objective and is biased, but the media play their key role by disclosure of “intruders in statistical system” Role of media in dissemination:  Role of media in dissemination Media as the most effective dissemination channel of statistics to ordinary people: describe facts and figures by transferring them from statistical to more understandable language simultaneously promote official statistics judge the statistical office and its work, in view of their integrity, independence, transparency of the statistical system Journalists:  Journalists Code of Ethics of Slovenian Journalists The first principle states: the public has the right to be informed the journalists have the right of to express their opinions, which can be implemented by free gathering, disseminating and transmitting information. Double role of journalists:  Double role of journalists censors of the state institution’s behavior with strong power in creating public opinion simple human beings possessing limited educational background in statistics, with whom special care is required in maintaining professional and open relationships The need of journalists for statistics :  The need of journalists for statistics in corroborating their assumptions or just to illustrate issues in articles in informing public about pertinent, up-to-date, important or interesting statistics in informing of unexpected, “shocking” news about statistical office Statistical literacy among journalists ?:  Statistical literacy among journalists ? to read statistics, the following is required: the ability to understand statistical terminology and concepts of methodologies that accompany statistical data statistical thinking covers understanding of statistical data, data-related arguments and all kinds of statistical measures for describing the relationship between variables Can we say that journalists are statistically illiterate? Scarcely, reasons for publishing press releases are well-known and were documented in published manuals years ago. Statisticians:  Statisticians Statisticians often presume that users of statistics, including journalists, have the ability to understand statistics and its methodological background that accompanies statistical data – they are adequately statistically literate. Should we not make the first move in publishing comprehensible texts – instead of our demand that the public and journalists master substantial literacy? We make it our duty to facilitate users to understand statistics and to translate professional statistical language into common language. Statistics goes hand in hand with journalists:  Statistics goes hand in hand with journalists Slovenian statistical office can anticipate the needs of journalists in view of our own experiences in the past and publishes news releases for special occasions when something in the country is taking place: at holidays, for national or international days which are devoted to a specific group of people or some activity, phenomena or appearance. News releases at special occasions cover more fields of statistics, avoiding a purely statistical-numerical approach, and provide soft, easy to understand, summarized information on the selected subject. Statistics goes hand in hand with journalists (2):  Statistics goes hand in hand with journalists (2) news releases at special occasions in 2006: 26 releases for national and international days like Earth Day, World Communication Day, Internationally Family Day, National Farm Women Day, World Day of Post, World Truism Day, National Mountaineering Day, National Day of Culture, International Day of Older Persons, World Youth Day, etc. Statistics goes hand in hand with journalists (3):  Statistics goes hand in hand with journalists (3) The structure of special news releases: title should tell the purpose of the release short summary of no more than two sentences content in subheadings no methodological explanations or notes simplified language no table one graph maximum not always bilingual (Slovenian/English) Experiences with the first two occasional news releases :  Experiences with the first two occasional news releases A quite lively debate was evoked in the statistical office over whether or not the texts in press releases were too simplified and if they were not “professionally statistical” enough Press-clipping reviews for the first two releases in 2005 showed astonishingly good results, which urged us to continue launching similar releases for the remaining “red-letter” days and holidays Multi-fold results:  Multi-fold results Even though writing news release is not an easy task for statisticians, after publishing in the media, statisticians are rewarded with satisfaction and self-promotion: the author is often exposed for further explanations or more detailed statistics and interviews Usefulness of statistics is approved Official statistics is promoted Statistical office is known as being an adequately open institution

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