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

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 ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$14.43
BN.com price
(Save 9%)$16.00 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (31) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $4.95   
  • Used (26) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

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.

"Whether it's a scientific study on day care or health care, hunger in America or the environment, once it gets into the hands of journalists - look out! You may think you're getting the straight story - but it ain't necessarily so, as this aptly named book makes clear. But beware: It Ain't Necessarily So may confirm your worst fears about the media. Which is precisely why it's such an important contribution to our understanding of how things really operate inside the American newsroom." (Bernard Goldberg, author of Bias)

Read More Show Less

What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"Whether it's a scientific study on day care or health care, hunger in America or the environment, once it gets into the hands of journalists—look out! You may think you're getting the straight story—but it ain't necessarily so, as this aptly named book makes clear. But beware: It Ain't Necessarily So may confirm your worst fears about the media. Which is precisely why it's such an important contribution to our understanding of how things really operate inside the American newsroom." —Bernard Goldberg, author of Bias

"Wonderful reading." —Chicago Tribune

Bernard Goldberg
Whether it's a scientific study on day care or health care, hunger in America or the environment, once it gets into the hands of journalists - look out! You may think you're getting the straight story - but it ain't necessarily so, as this aptly named book makes clear. But beware: It Ain't Necessarily So may confirm your worst fears about the media. Which is precisely why it's such an important contribution to our understanding of how things really operate inside the American newsroom.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142001462
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/1/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.42 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Prologue
Introduction: Making News and Making Sense: The News That's "Fit to Print"

Part I: The Ambiguity of News
Chapter 1: The News That Isn't There: Stories That Are - and Aren't - Covered
Chapter 2: Much Ado about Little: Making News Mountains Out of Research Molehills

Part II: The Ambiguity of Measurement
Chapter 3: Bait and Switch: Understanding "Tomato" Statistics
Chapter 4: The Perils of Proxies: Is There a There There?
Chapter 5: Is the Glass Half Empty or Half Full?: A Look at Statistics from Both Sides Now
Chapter 6: Polls Apart: The Gertrude Stein Approach to Making Sense of Contradictory Surveys
Chapter 7: The Reality and Rhetoric of Risk: Telling It Like It Is - and Isn't
Chapter 8: Distinguishing "Reports" from Reality: Confusing the Map with the Territory

Part III: The Ambiguity of Explanation
Chapter 9: Blaming the Messenger, Ignoring the Message: Do Motives Matter?
Chapter 10: Tunnel Vision and Blind Spots: The Danger of Hedgehod Interpretations
Conclusion: Hard to Tell: Journalism, Science, and Public Policy - An Inherent Conflict?

Afterword: The Anthrax Feeding Frenzy
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)