Context is everything

Without context, data is meaningless.

Take for example this report (among many; I’m not singling out The Australian specifically, it’s present in ALL reports about housing prices)

Same in this report in Melbourne’s The Age newspaper.

These reports contain lots of percentages straight from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

And these percentages are utterly meaningless. Why? There’s no dollar values included, there’s no context.

What does it mean that property prices fell by 1% over October? Why do I care?

Well, on a $400,000 house, that means the price fell by $4000, that’s what it means.

I’m all for writing to an audience; what I’m not for is writing making assumptions. News reporting needs to be accessible, otherwise it’s useless.

Author: gotheek

Sometime writer, full time human.