"Journalists become journalists because they aren’t good at math” is an old journalism adage. The adage is often brought up when a newspaper story involves math, such as charts and graphs.
“One typical comment from such a student is: ‘I never was any good at math; that’s why I decided to go into journalism’” was cited in print in 1981. The adage is probably much older and does not appear to have any specific author.
The Urban Press in Transition:
The Political Economy of Newswork, Volume 2
University of Chicago (Ph.D. thesis)
“I was no good at math and I liked to write,” a reporter said, adding that he had a “natural curiosity” and that he enjoyed “the entry it affords you meeting people, seeing events close up.”
Research Methods in Mass Communication
BY Guido H. Stempel and Bruce H. Westley
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall
Many students interested in journalism and mass communications express a dislike or fear, or both, of anything quantitative. One typical comment from such a student is: “I never was any good at math; that’s why I decided to go into journalism.”
Fundamentals of Journalism:
Reporting, Writing and Editing
By R. Thomas Berner
Spokane, WA: Marquette Books
Journalists like to joke that they went into journalism because they were no good at math.
The Baltimore Sun
@popcouturejjw4 However, we should have said 11,100th follower! Is there truth to the saying that journalists aren’t good at math?!
2:55 PM - 12 Jul 2010
The Pirates’ Hill Murders:
By John A. Miller Jr.
“I thought journalists weren’t good at math.”
@rkilroy 2011 actually...but it’s ok Journalist aren’t supposed to be good at math
7:04 PM - 22 Dec 2011
By Julie Frayn
Published by the author
“Maybe she’ll be a writer, or a journalist. Not everyone can be good at math.”
@ronaldopatrizio @byharryconnolly Everyone knows journalists aren’t good at math. It’s why they went into journalism…
3:51 PM - 7 Jun 2014
Full moon makes this a lunatic Friday the 13th
ONLY IN DELAWARE
Jeffrey Gentry, The News Journal 7:28 p.m. EDT June 12, 2014
I’m not going to attempt to figure it out. There’s an old adage about why journalists become journalists. It’s because we aren’t any good at math.
New York City • Media/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • Friday, June 13, 2014 • Permalink