It Ain't Necessarily So: How the Media Remake Our Picture of Reality / Edition 1

It Ain't Necessarily So: How the Media Remake Our Picture of Reality / Edition 1

by David Murray
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0142001465

ISBN-13: 2900142001461

Pub. Date: 10/01/2002

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Anthrax scares. Airplane crashes. The AIDS epidemic. Presidential election polls and voting results. Global warming. All these news stories require scientific savvy, first to report, and then-for the average person-to understand. It Ain't Necessarily So cuts through the confusion and inaccuracies surrounding media reporting of scientific studies, surveys, and

Overview

Anthrax scares. Airplane crashes. The AIDS epidemic. Presidential election polls and voting results. Global warming. All these news stories require scientific savvy, first to report, and then-for the average person-to understand. It Ain't Necessarily So cuts through the confusion and inaccuracies surrounding media reporting of scientific studies, surveys, and statistics. Whether the problem is bad science, media politics, or a simple lack of information or knowledge, this book gives news consumers the tools to penetrate the hype and dig out the facts.

Author Biography: David Murray is director of the Statistical Assessment Service in Washington, D.C., and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.

Joel Schwartz is senior adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute.

S. Robert Lichter is president of the Center for Media and Public Affairs in Washington, D.C.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900142001461
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/01/2002
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
288

Table of Contents

Prologuevii
Introduction Making News and Making Sense: The News That's "Fit to Print"1
Part IThe Ambiguity of News
Chapter 1The News That isn't There: Stories That Are--and Aren't--Covered17
Chapter 2Much Ado About Little: Making News Mountains out of Research Molehills35
Part IIThe Ambiguity of Measurement
Chapter 3Bait and Switch: Understanding "Tomato" Statistics57
Chapter 4The Perils of Proxies: Is There a There There?71
Chapter 5Is the Glass Half Empty or Half Full? A Look at Statistics from Both Sides Now85
Chapter 6Polls Apart: The Gertrude Stein Approach to Making Sense of Contradictory Surveys97
Chapter 7The Reality and Rhetoric of Risk: Telling It Like It Is--and Isn't115
Chapter 8Distinguishing "Reports" from Reality: Confusing the Map with the Territory133
Part IIIThe Ambiguity of Explanation
Chapter 9Blaming the Messenger, Ignoring the Message: Do Motives Matter?147
Chapter 10Tunnel Vision and Blind Spots: The Danger of Hedgehog Interpretations163
Conclusion: Hard to Tell: Journalism, Science, and Public Policy--An Inherent Conflict?175
Afterword: The Anthrax Feeding Frenzy197
Notes213
Bibliography251
Index259

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >