Analysis on number use
Find a news story that uses numbers in at least three ways. How has the reporter used numbers to tell the story? Are the numbers overwhelming? If so, how could the reporter have made it easier to grasp? Did the reporter use math to crunch numbers and tell the story more effectively? What are the sources of those numbers? Are they listed completely?
I found a news story from April 1, 2008, that uses numbers in three ways at The Journal News, a news company in New York. The article is about Major League Baseball salaries. The reporter uses the percentages of baseball salaries to illuminate how much players are making currently, how much these salaries compare to last year, and how the salaries compare between teams and players. The numbers are a little overwhelming when the author uses percentages to compare the players' salaries. Three different percentage numbers are brought up in the same sentence. This could be cleared up by statements such as, "Overall, the average player’s salary rose 22 percent in Major League Baseball in the past four years," or "The overall salary of the New York Mets has risen 5 percent faster than the overall salary of the New York Yankees." Math was used to crunch the numbers, because percentage and percentage points are given rather than straight numerals or a list of salaries, which does help to tell the story more effectively. The sources are USA Today and the Major League Baseball Players Association. They are listed completely.