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STATISTICS AND MASS MEDIA: WHEN WE COMMUNICATE BY NUMBERS

november 26, 2003
Prof. Bruno Bracalente
Dep. of Statistics, University of Perugia

Bruno Bracalente Bruno Bracalente Bruno Bracalente Bruno Bracalente


The lecture in Video Streaming (in Italian):
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The lecture-paper (in Italian): download .doc file (422KB)
Power Point slides of the lecture (in Italian): download Zip file (495KB)

Abstract:

We are living in the "information society". And often it is numerical or statistical information, necessary for citizens in making everyday decision, in making an own opinion and in participating with consciousness to social life. Although, the common citizen, even if literate, take difficulties in accessing to this information and in orientating himself, in understanding and interpretating its meaning correctly. Hence, it's particularly important  the part of mass media and their responsability: they are the main bridge across which information, including statistical information, reach citizens. Statistical information require more than ever of being supplied with relevant and comprehensible elements of interpretation and of critical evaluation, because is not true that "the numbers speak alone", that fortunately happens more often and with increasing skill.  Nevertheless it is not rare that to the rigorous and correct information (retained perhaps tedious) the attractive approximation is preferred, and sometimes also the instrumental use of the data, whose sense consequently reaches distorted to the citizen.  The conference faces these aspects, beginning from concrete and emblematic examples that can be found daily on mass media: from the opinion surveys to the information on the prices, the city and regions ordered by economic and social indicators. The objective is to indicate some of the critical points on which put attention in order to improve "the art of communicating with numbers" of mass media and in order to make the understanding of the statistical information easier for citizens.

Prof. Bruno Bracalente (Dept. of Statistical Sciences  - University of Perugia)
Ordinary university professor of Economic Statistics in the Faculty of Economy of the University of Perugia and Director of the Department of Statistical Sciences of the same Athenaeum.  He has been Principal of the Faculty of Economy of the University of Perugia from 1994 to 1995 and President of Umbria Region from 1995 to 2000.  He's ordinary member of the International Statistical Institute and associate of the Italian Society of Statistics.  He's the author of various books and articles on topics of territorial analysis of the development and on the system of economic statistics.


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