Bookshelf: Numbers in the Newsroom
Never underestimate the value of a compact guide to math, especially if you’re one of those journalists who thought you could avoid numbers by becoming a writer. You shouldn’t — understanding numbers will help you get stories others miss because of innumeracy.
One of the handiest resources I’ve found — and recommended just this week to a roomful of colleagues — is Sarah Cohen’s “Numbers in the Newsroom.” It’s a 108-page guide that covers the basics on percent change, rates, graphics, probability and much more. Cohen is a Pulitzer-winning former Washington Post staffer and one-time training director for Investigative Reporters and Editors. She’s now at Duke University, where she is the Knight Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy.
The book is a few years old, but its lessons are timeless. You can pick it up through IRE’s online store.
Have your own math book recommendations? List them below …