The state of data and statistics in journalism and journalism education: Issues and debates

An Nguyen*, Jairo Lugo-Ocando

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

20 Scopus citations


This paper discusses journalists' vast misunderstanding, underestimation and ignorance of the nature of statistics and their role in shaping the public's daily work and life. In countering what the authors see as the most common myths about numbers and the news, it aims to set the scene for the key issues and debates that this special issue covers. At the centre of this discussion are three key points: (a) statistics are not distant from the news: they are at the heart of journalism; (b) statistics are not mathematics: they are about the application of the same kind of logical and valid reasoning needed for other types of news material; and (c) statistics are neither cold nor boring: they are an endless source of inspiration for much excellent journalism in the past, present and, undoubtedly, future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-17
Number of pages15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016



  • Data journalism
  • data reporting
  • numbers in the news
  • numeracy skills
  • quantitative literacy
  • statistics for journalists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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