On reporting on statistics

Felix Salmon has a great post about the journalistic use of statistics, and it’s well worth the read.  Here’s his summary, complete with thoughtful reminders:

Before you start quoting statistics, then, it’s always worth (a) knowing where exactly they come from; (b) verifying them independently if you were fed them by some pressure group; and (c) making sure that they say what you say that they say. Otherwise, you just end up looking credulous and silly.

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