Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Lies, Damn Lies And Statistics In TV News.

So, the UK unemployment quarterly statistics are out today and the number crunchers in TV News, including business, political and home affairs journalists are buried deep in the figures from the Office Of National Statistics.

Remember... Statistics and Kangaroos can go up as well as down.

 However, it makes for some interesting reading on Twitter. To be honest, i found myself saying 'Whatty what what..?' quite a few times.




So the BBC and ITN twitterists were quick off the mark this morning with an exact match, the numbers being a little disconcerting, but hey, they matched. I had been informed, i had been educated, but hang on, there may be a spanner in the works...




I thought the unemployment rate had risen by 15000... How can the unemployment rate have dropped in the space of a few tweets? And where the hell did the 7.8 percent come from..? Did they all find work over breakfast? Had Lord Sugar stepped in and offered them all an apprenticeship..? Hang on though, the good old BBC are back to help me in my confusion...




Eh..? So the unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent, but it was up by 0.1 percent but down since October. My head is starting to spin. Aha... Here comes ITN with the inside track on what the hell is going on...




Hang on, it's fallen. 7300 people appear to have found gainful employment in the past few minutes, but the unemployment rate is steady at 1.52 million. That's good, but i'm starting to lose track of the figures. The devil is in the statistical details, figuratively speaking. Aha, here we go, here comes Sky News, surely they have figured it out having come a little late to the party...




Where's the effing numbers guys..? You haven't even bothered your arses to look through the numbers have you..? Disappointing Sky News, disappointing. But wait, some guy called Alberto has come up with this little gem, retweeted by Olly...




OK, so i now have an unemployment rate of 1.52 million which has dropped to 7.8 percent, that has risen by 15000 people, but dropped by 7300 who have suddenly found jobs. 20.7 percent of youths are unemployed, 19.1 percent of whom are in full time education. This is up by 0.1 percent but down 0.4 percent from a year earlier.

Thanks guys, i think i've got to grips with that...Now if you don't mind, i'm off for a very large Scotch.

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.

www.media-attention.co.uk