Math Tools: Surveys, Stocks and Taxes

By Erin Valentine

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Chapter 5: Polls and Surveys

Polls are estimations of public opinion on a specific topic or question. Surveys are estimations that involve multiple questions. Each are used to find information that can be “used, reused, reported and reviewed.” They are used with populations and samples, margin of error and confidence levels, the census and z scores and t scores.

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Chapter 6: Business

The business beat is the one with the most math involved. Business news can come from reports, press releases, etc. It thrives off of financial statements, profit and loss, balance sheets and ratio analyses.


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Chapter 7: Stocks and Bonds

Stocks and bonds are how businesses raise money. It is crucial for journalists to understand what these cash-raisers entail. Stocks are sold by corporations. Bonds are used by governments to raise money. Market indexes measure the action of exchanges of stocks and bonds.

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Chapter 8: Property Taxes

Property taxes are the biggest source of income for multiple municipal organizations. Journalists must understand how property taxes are calculated. A large issue can be the reappraisal, or the update of real property values to show current market values in a district.

All information is from Wickham’s “Math Tools for Journalists”


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