NZ Level 7 (NZC) Level 2 (NCEA)
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Statistics in the Media - Intro (Investigation
Lesson

How are statistics used in the media?

Statistics are usually included in media to support facts, reinforce arguments or provide additional information to the viewer. However, we must not forget that they are a powerful tool of persuasion, and must be interpreted with caution, as statistics can be deliberately manipulated or skewed by the author to shape the opinions of viewers.

Discussion

Read the following articles and answer the following questions for each article.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/we-may-be-getting-smarter-but-more-animals-are-under-threat-20121012-27ig4.html

http://www.smh.com.au/afl/afl-news/swans-have-facts-to-back-allowance-20121016-27p3v.html

http://www.smh.com.au/national/more-than-two-million-australians-in-poverty-20121014-27kou.html

http://www.smh.com.au/business/jobless-figure-it-out-if-you-can-20120810-23zyg.html

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/broadband-demand-surges-abs/story-fn3dxiwe-1226492315010

  1. Identify the statistics that were presented in the article.
  2. Write up a summary of these statistics.
  3. Do you think the claims made in the article were consistent with the statistics provided?
  4. What was the purpose of linking the claims to the statistics?
  5. What source(s) were the statistics drawn from?
  6. Look up the source(s) online. What other interesting statistics would you include if you had the chance to edit the article?

Outcomes

S7-3

S7-3 Evaluate statistically based reports: A interpreting risk and relative risk B identifying sampling and possible non-sampling errors in surveys, including polls

91266

Evaluate a statistically based report

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