This is brilliant because it’s true. I always cringe when someone jokes as if it’s a good thing, “I’m bad at math.” And it happens very often among word types: journalists, writers, editors, etc. It’s almost as if it’s a negative in the business to be good at math, as if you can’t be good with words and numbers. LIES.
I’ve never said “I’m bad at math,” and I really hope you’ll stop saying it, too. This guy explains why everyone needs to stop saying and believing those four words.
"welcome to journalism, where “bad at math” isn’t just a destructive idea — it’s a badge of honor. It’s your admission to the club. It’s woven into the very fabric of identity as a journalist.
And it’s a destructive lie. One I would say most journalists believe. It’s a lie that may well be a lurking variable in the death of journalism’s institutions.
Truth is, “bad at math” was never a good thing in journalism, even when things like data and analytics weren’t a part of the job. Covering a city budget? It’s shameful how many newsroom creatures can’t calculate percent change. Covering sports? It’s embarrassing how many sports writers dismiss the gigantic leaps forward in data analysis in all sports as “nerd stuff.”
In short, we’ve created a culture where ignorance of a subject is not only accepted, it’s glorified. Ha ha! Journalists are bad at math! Fire is hot and water is wet too!”