News Numbers... and why they are important

Newsrooms are filled with people scared of numbers. For the most part, reporters and editors are word people. Many believe their readers are the same.

That's where I'm a little different. I'm a numbers guy in a word workplace. I joke that someday I will write a story that includes nothing but numbers; no letters whatsoever.

While that may not be possible, good reporting begs for some use of numbers. And I believe readers can handle a dose of math.

Numbers can provide facts to support anecdotes. They can demonstrate trends. They can be the basis of good, investigative reporting even if only a few end up in print.

News Numbers was created to help reporters and editors become more comfortable with numbers.

This site is a work in progress; so feel free to email your comments and suggestions.

Rich Exner, long-time data analysis editor for The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer and

Rich Exner