Math quiz for reporters, new question: Recently, the WSJ.com Numbers Guy, Carl Bialik, had a quiz for reporters and editors that explored how reporters and editors get confused when trying to explain anything to do with numbers.
I have a new question to add to that quiz.
What is wrong with this article from MediaPost.com today? (Hint: There are several correct answers that can be found without doing any Google searches on past data — just use the information found below. If you do a Google search, you can find more, but don’t go to the effort — I’m not giving extra points.):
January Ad Pages Fall To Lowest Point Since ’01,
Mag Revenues Down Too
“AFTER ENDING 2005 ON AN upswing, magazine ad pages continued to slide once again during the first month of 2006, according to estimates released late Tuesday by the Publishers Information Bureau. Consumer magazines measured by the PIB sold a total of 13,342.6 ad pages during January, a decline of 1.9 percent from January 2005. That represents the second consecutive year of ad page volume declines for January, and means the consumer publishing industry is still 0.5 percent below its January 2001 high of 14,079.6.”
Later, I’ll add an update explaining the most obvious mistakes.