We recently had a sad lesson in journalism in San Francisco.
Philip Anschutz created a free daily newspaper in San Francisco based on a free newspaper model he saw in Amsterdam and London. He also built a similar newspaper in Washington DC. Both called Examiners.
Based on his careful understanding of the success of the Wall Street Journal in attracting the largest newspaper audience in America and the similar success of USA Today, he put tables and charts and numbers on every news page. If the article was about the local bus service there was a chart showing arrival times over the previous five years. If the article was about hospitals it showed morbidity data for the local area.
For reasons unknown to me, the San Francisco Examiner was sold to a Canadian suburban chain publisher who promptly dropped all numbers from the paper, except page numbers. He is a traditional journalist and believes what nearly all journalists believe: ordinary newspaper readers are too dumb to do simple math or understand any numbers.
I think that is both a description of the readers of most newspapers including the New York Times and a description of the educational failure at the core of most journalists' skills.
Do your news sources use numbers?