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Irish Examiner innumeracy

Here’s a great example of numerical illiteracy spotted by my mate Tom:

some classic reporting in the Irish Examiner today

“Department staff clocked up 20,000 sick days in the three years” is the headline. Closer examination of the article reveals there are 5,000 people in the department. Do the maths (which the paper doesn’t – I wonder why) and that’s a SHOCKING 1.3 sick days a year.

Even better is this quote: “Department of Agriculture staff clocked up 3,095 uncertified sick days last year – 653 of these on a Monday”

So that would be about a fifth of the sick days being taken on one of the five working days in the week. DISGRACE!

Let’s hear it for old media’s commitment to quality journalism!