Math Tools for Journalists

A summary of chapters 5 through 8 in Kathleen Woodruff Wickham’s “Math Tools for Journalists” (Second Edition)

By Carolyn VanBrocklin

Journalists often come across polls as part of their reporting, particularly when it’s important to show public opinion.  Since it is virtually impossible to poll everyone in the desired population, those conducting polls have to survey a sample of the population.  When conducting such a survey, the larger the survey the more valid it is.

Businesses are an important part of the news, especially in relation to the economic changes that are happening lately.  Businesses prepare financial statements that show the companies’ performance through the year and their profit and loss.  The profit and loss is one of the most important statements because analyzing it determines if acompany is making money or not.

Stocks and bonds are important ways that businesses raise money.  People who buy stocks own a small portion of the company, while bonds are basically loans from an organization that purchasers can receive money for when the bonds reach maturity.  Bonds have a current yield that can change depending on the market at the time they are sold.

Property taxes are a way for the local government and other municipal organizations to raise money.  Usually they are based on home ownership, but cars and boats can also count towards this kind of tax.



One Response

  1. Carolyn, this graphic is just too cool! Wow!

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