The old adage goes, “numbers don’t lie, people do.” And we have seen how people can use numbers to shape stories in a particular way. That’s especially true when reporting on polls or surveys if we’re not thorough or asking the right questions. Read the CBS report on the explosion of teenagers “sexting” or posting nude or semi-nude photos of themselves. And then read Carl Bialik’s column in the Wall Street Journal about the story and the online poll on which it was based. Your assignment: In the comments section below, tell me what you would do as a reporter if presented with a press release about this nationwide survey. What questions would you ask? If you wrote a story, what key elements would you include? And what’s your reaction to the Bialik column? This is due by the beginning of class on Thursday, April 23.
Is ‘sexting’ shockingly common among teens?