Many journalists are more concerned with stating their “position” on different subjects rather than researching and using facts for news stories. Even journalists who concerned with “facts,” however, ultimately mislead their audience by wrongly interpreting facts or disregarding the rules that govern the use of numerical or factual data.
In this course, participants strengthen their understanding of the rules of fact-based journalism by reviewing common mistakes in the use of numerical or factual data. It is essential for both professional journalists as well as citizen journalists to understand these rules. Facts are the primary tool of information dissemination. If journalists and readers ignore facts and the rules governing their use from the outset, they will become accustomed to ignoring them in the long run. One of the bitter realities of the media is that many professional journalists often mislead their audience through mistaken understandings of numerical or factual data.
The course consists of eight one-and-a-half-hour sessions and provides real-world examples of the complexities in referring to numerical or factual data as well as case-by-case analysis of those examples. Participants will review cases that demonstrate how even prestigious international media outlets can give false information to their audience by ignoring the rules of logic, particularly mathematical logic.