Journalistic innumeracy, part 872

Rents in Leipzig are cheaper than rents in Manhattan! This

astonishing news is brought to you by the New York Times. But they still

manage to get it wrong:

What Mr. Amrhein is paying, per month per square foot, in Leipzig:

about 40 cents

What a similar gallery would cost, per month per square foot, in Chelsea:


Er, no. Chelsea rents might be high, but they’re not $75 per square foot per

month. Actually, they’re $75 per square foot per year. The number they

should have used is $6.25: one twelfth of $75. Alternatively, they could have

given rent per square foot per year in Leipzig, which is $4.80.

The Times knows this, of course. There’s even a box in the print article (not

online) which gives accurate monthly rents for a 3,800 square-foot space: $23,750

in Chelsea, $1,470 in Leipzig. But no one seems to have stopped to think whether

the ratio of those two numbers was the same as the ratio between $75 and $0.40.

There’s arts journalists for you.

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One Response to Journalistic innumeracy, part 872

  1. David Sucher says:

    There should be a big sign as one enters every media location:

    “Do the math!”

    The business side knows; the editorial side should too.

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