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The most Trumpish of charts

Adam Oxford
Adam Oxford
2020-03-20

Alberto Cairo’s takedown of the signed chart that Donald Trump sent to his followers last weekend is masterful. Trump’s chart apparently showed a bounce in share prices following a press conference he gave reassuring the nation about covid-19 – Cairo points out that as the graph only shows a day’s worth of data it exaggerates the bump, which relative to 24 hours earlier still represented a fall in value. As we now know, the markets went into freefall a day later – proving the data guru right and Trump an idiot. Again.

It’s worth pointing out because this is a mistake we see over and again when reporting on issues such as crime stats or traffic fatalities in South Africa. Everyone gets excited about increases or falls compared to 12 months ago, but few look at annual trends.

(Via GIJN)

Adam Oxford
  • Adam Oxford is a freelance journalist, media consultant and civic tech enthusiast. He also works closely with startups developing solutions to access to justice problems.

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