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How the Media Twists the Truth With Graphics


I probably don’t need to caution anyone that the media loves to spin a tall tale. This month’s Wall Street crisis is prime fodder for the media’s spin doctors. A picture tells a thousand stories and they can tell a thousadn lies too. Take a look at this graph from the Guardian in the UK.

From Phil Gyford’s blog:

"We can see every little peak and trough. But it also looks as though by 14:30 the average was around one-fifth of the opening price — stocks had lost 80% of their value! Of course, they hadn’t. In reality they’d “only” lost around 9% of their value. Unless one is going to examine the y-axis and mentally imagine the bottom of the graph (which, in this case, would have extended off the bottom of the page by nearly a metre) the graph completely misrepresents the day’s activity. It lies."

Author Richard Banfield

As CEO, Richard leads Fresh Tilled Soil’s strategic vision. He’s a mentor at TechStars and BluePrintHealth, an advisor and lecturer at the Boston Startup School, and serves on the executive committees of TEDxBoston, the AdClub’s Edge Conference, and Boston Regional Entrepreneurship Week.

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