A Census of Statistics Requirements at U.S. Journalism Programs and a Model for a “Statistics for Journalism” Course

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Abstract

This essay presents data from a census of statistics requirements and offerings at all 4-year journalism programs in the United States (N = 369) and proposes a model of a potential course in statistics for journalism majors. The author proposes that three philosophies underlie a statistics course for journalism students. Such a course should (a) represent a statistics course with journalism, not a journalism course seasoned with a few statistics; (b) encourage awareness of error and skepticism of omniscience of official figures; and (c) cultivate statistical enthusiasts, not formulae repositories. Findings report students in just one fifth of U.S. journalism programs are required to take statistics, and none of those programs offer a course within their own academic unit that fulfills a traditional statistics requirement.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournalism and Mass Communication Educator
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • curriculum
  • data
  • journalism
  • numeracy
  • statistics
  • undergraduate education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Education

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