20 January 2011

Double - checking! It works....

For once, I managed to catch the front page of the papers review last night on Sky News and almost spluttered cocoa over the laptop at the sight of what I have reproduced to the left of this post. Large headlines on the Daily Express suggested that the employment figures:- http://tinyurl.com/6yxckoy hid a worrying trend I had previously allowed to slip by me.

The article itself can be found here : http://tinyurl.com/625dmvh and appears to be a breathless and alarming analysis of the statistics released, though slightly less alarming than the headline suggests.

In the Daily Mail, there was a piece which also related to the newly emerged employment figures but which erred more , though not quite wholly, on the side of accuracy:-
http://tinyurl.com/66eq6kz. I was able to check the statements in the two articles in an extremely cursory way using the official data from the Office for National Statistics. I came to an initial conclusion that a certain amount of poetic licence, for whatever purpose, had been used by the journalists when working up their articles.

Both of these articles appeared to be suggesting that a disproportionate number of vacancies in a dwindling jobs market are being filled by those not born in Britain.

My suspicions were supported somewhat when I found, on the Full Fact website this morning, an analysis of what The Express and the Daily Mail had reported. http://fullfact.org/blog.

It is very worrying when facts and statistics can be manipulated or misreported in what seems to be an attempt to suit a political agenda or feed an appetite for a certain kind of story, so leading to enhanced sales of a paper.

Rosie Robertson