Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Tips For Journalists: Explain Numbers Using Real-World Examples

Just how big is 10 acres?

How heavy is 150 kilograms?

A 1500 sq. ft. apartment is how much space?

If you're a journalist who deals with numbers on a regular basis -- that's all of you -- then explaining figures and statistics to readers is critical for them to understand what you're writing about.

Thanks to web-based utility SensibleUnits, the comparison is easier than you think.

Just enter in the figure you're trying to represent, and the website will pop out a list of comparisons. Just pick the most appropriate one and you're one step closer to filing on deadline with accuracy.


Those 10 acres? A little more than seven football fields.

150 kilograms? About nine old computer monitors.

And that 1500 sq. ft. apartment? Enough space for exactly 10 parking spaces.

Couldn't be easier.

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