Do the numbers lie? Data and statistics in the age of coronaviruses | Coronavirus pandemic


Sure The Listening Post this week: infection rate, death rate – the news is full of virus statistics, but how accurate are they? In addition, Italian journalists are thinking about the COVID-19 report.

Do the numbers lie? Data and statistics in the era of the coronavirus.

COVID-19 is news based on numbers. The data helps journalists quantify the scale of the pandemic and allows news consumers to assess the risk. The figures also tell governments what to do.

But statisticians say that the way coronavirus data is collected, interpreted and reported is inherently flawed. The problem is not misinformation, but rather the limits of science, in the early stages of understanding a new virus and a new pandemic.


Jon Allsop – Editor, CJR Newsletter

John Ioannidis – Professor, Stanford University

Maggie Koerth – Senior Science Journalist, FiveThirtyEight

John Allen Paulos – Professor of Mathematics, Temple University; author of a mathematician reads the newspaper

On our radar:

Richard Gizbert talks to producer Johanna Hoes about how WhatsApp is trying to stem the flow of disinformation on COVID-19 on its platform.

Pandemic journalism: Italian media grappling with COVID-19

Countries that are still climbing the coronavirus curve have looked to more advanced nations – to see what’s coming. Journalists who want to do the same may want to take a long look at Italy. It was the second country to be seized by COVID-19 and the first in which the media is largely free from government control.

Italy’s national lockdown has been in effect for over a month, but the government has made an exception for journalists, viewing their work as an essential service. These journalists have had their work cut out from the start. Confidence in the Italian media was at an all-time low. Nothing like great news for a chance to rebuild a reputation. Daniel Turi talks to three Italian journalists.


Mattia Ferraresi – Reporter, Il Foglio

Giulia Bosetti – Investigative journalist, Rai 3

Carlo Verdelli – Editor in chief, La Repubblica

Source: Al Jazeera News


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