It’s not data mis-representation, it’s just…

21Mar12

It’s just lazy.

I had a rampage on Twitter last week, because the Metro reported some figures from lawyer Tom Winsor’s report into, amongst other things, police fitness.

Now, I got a chunk of momentum when I saw this line reported;

“the… study found that 52 per cent 0f male staff at the Metropolitan Police were overweight, 22 per cent were obese, and 1 in 100 was ‘morbidly obese'”

 

This figure struck me, as a clawing, scrapping young data journalist, as wrong. 75% of male MET police are overweight? Surely not.

I thought they’d added up the figures, rather than take the 22% of obese officers as a part of the 52% percent of overweight offices (so, only 30% would be overweight and 22% would be obese).

Now, I’ll admit it right here and now, I was wrong. As the report shows, 75% of male MET police really are overweight, as it says on page 224 of Volume 1 of the report.

My annoyance is in the fact that despite looking through The Metro article, The Yorkshire Post article and various others online, I had to look through Wikipedia, find Tom Winsor and collect a link to that report through there. Nowhere on any online article was the report name mentioned, or a simple hyperlink provided.

You have to report your sources. Or, people won’t trust you.

And young data-journalists will get annoyed.

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