Using Numbers
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Using Numbers

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The presentation focuses on how journalists should use numbers to report trends. I include examples of how to calculate percentages and percentage points.

The presentation focuses on how journalists should use numbers to report trends. I include examples of how to calculate percentages and percentage points.

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Using Numbers Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Using Numbers to Report Trends
    A Lecture
  • 2. Keep your C.H.I.N. Up
    Context: Why is this story important now?
    Human Element: Give us a quote.
    Impact: How does this affect your reader?
    News: Who? What? When? Where?
  • 3. Let’s Add Some Numbers
  • 4. Definition of Percent
    Percent means per hundred.
    If you leave a 10% tip, you’ve given the server a dime per each $1 of food.
  • 5. How to calculate percent
    Of the 600,000 residents of Baltimore, 300,000 are African American.
    What percent is that?
    Part/whole X 100% = percent
    So, 300,000/600,000 = 50%
  • 6. Now you try…
    Of the 24 people in this class, 6 are men.
    What percentage of the class is male?
  • 7. The answer
    Part/whole *100 = percentage
    6/24 * 100 = 25%
  • 8. How to change a percent into a regular number…
    Forty percent of the 500 survey respondents said they will vote for Sen. Barack Obama.
    Whole x percent = part
    500 X 40% = 500 x 0.40 = 200
  • 9. How to calculate a percentage change
    This year, the number of new voters has increased dramatically. Last election cycle, 200,000 new registrants surfaced. This year, 300,000 new registrants signed up.
    (New Value-Old Value) ÷ Old Value X 100
    (300,000-200,000) ÷ 200,000 x 100 = ?
  • 10. The Answer
    (300,000-200,000) ÷ 200,000 x 100 = ?
    The change is 50%
  • 11. The most important thing to remember…
    There is a difference between a percentage and a percentage point.
    For instance, if we say, “Barack Obama would like to raise taxes on upper-class Americans, from 10% to 20%...”
    That is a change of 10 PERCENTAGE POINTS. (20-10 = 10)
    What is the percentage increase?
  • 12. Let’s Hear How the Pros Do It
  • 13. Now you try…
    Find this statistic:
    The number of new voters in your home state this election cycle.
    The number of new voters last election cycle.
    Calculate the percentage increase/decrease.
    Calculate the percentage point change.