Although we emphasize use of numbers and data on this site, it’s important to not lose perspective.
Numbers are summaries of different kinds of realities. What we care about will always be the human beings who are summarized by those numbers.
Reporters live for those interviews with a quotable source, and stories with photos of vivid faces will draw people in. The right person can make the whole story sing.
But I love crunching numbers and digging up data, too. For me, each complements the other.
I like numbers because:
+They give us a way to draw a bigger picture – to show trends that give meaning to individual stories. Numbers work in tandem with human stories; one supports the other. A feature story about an individual can be an interesting read, but without a larger context, that individual can be dismissed as an oddball or an exception.
+Conversely, they can help us find the local angle in a national story. You might think that those policy debates in DC are just too hard to get a handle on, but if you drill down on the data, you’ll find out exactly how they affect your county. Read more