Clyde Bentley, associate professor at Missouri School of Journalism, told me via email that thereâ€™s a disconnect between journalism skills and math skills.

â€œA huge number of journalism students select that major because they are math-phobic and they think they will get away from numbers,â€ Bentley said. â€œYou donâ€™t have to be a mathematician to program, but you canâ€™t be afraid of math.â€

Holovaty, who attended the Missouri School of Journalism, ran into that attitude when he was at school there in the â€™90s.

â€œWhen I was in J-school I remember several times, the professor would say something like, â€˜Well that would involve math, and thatâ€™s why we all went to journalism school â€” so we wouldnâ€™t have to learn math. Ha, ha, ha.â€™ And everyone would laugh,â€ he told me. â€œCâ€™mon, this is just blatant anti-intellectualism. Itâ€™s deeply ingrained in the culture, which is ludicrous.â€

That’s just shocking. I don’t know that every journalist needs to be a math whiz, but most of them do. There are few subjects you can write about sensibly without a solid grasp of statistics and probability.

]]>Or maybe I’m just being cynical.

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