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Asbestos in the Iron Range

The Strib did a story on asbesto-linked cancer cases in miners in the Iron Range. The same number (35 cases of cancer) was used twice throughout the story which I thought was repetetive and a bad use of numbers. Also, the numbers used did not make the piece seem very newsworthy: " In a study nearly four years ago, state researchers identified 17 diagnosed cases of mesothelioma in a group of 72,000 people who worked in Minnesota's iron mining industry between the 1930s and 1982." To me this is not very much, especially considering that two studies totaling in over $1 million will be federally funded in order to assess the health risks associated with airborne mineral fragments. A different angle should have been taken in order to make the topic more newsworthy.


(Yikes -- it's hard to read black type on this corkboard background -- can you change the text to a lighter color, perhaps?)

Glad to see you paying attention to the numbers in stories -- perhaps you did before, or perhaps it's an aftereffect of the Using Numbers unit.

Don't forget that a blog posting should compare how two media outlets handled the same challenge in a news event (or similar news events).

Oh! I see. It's perfectly legible. My dialup connection was just too slow -- it took a while for the white "notebook paper" background image to appear.