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Bertha HarianBertha Harian

News Reports

Numbing numbers

I think I should give up making sense of numbers in the media. Or my brain doesn’t work in the morning. So there goes everyone trumpeting the fall in May private home sales. How interesting, I thought. So people aren’t buying? But look deeper and it could be that developers aren’t selling. So how many units were on sale? 2,449 units – but I don’t know if it includes exec condos. How many bought? 1,702 units or 2,057 units if exec condos are included. I don’t know about you but I think take-up rates of total private (including/excluding exec condos) would make better sense to the ordinary reader. Go read all three newspapers – Today, ST and BT. And good luck.

Then there was the other big story on LTA and SMRT pledging to reduce train pull-outs by 30 per cent next year. What does this mean? Seems 2009, the number of trains withdrwan was 243. Last year, it was 529. So far this year, it’s 58 trains every month. So it might be 696 this year, at the current monthly rate? And so 30 per cent, means it will be back to 200 plus? I don’t know….nobody worked out the maths. I working this out on my newspaper.

Anyway, who cares? What does this mean to the commuter? He’s going to be waiting for a shorter time? How much shorter than the current “less than 10 minutes”? Fewer delays than what he’s going through now? This won’t happen if all the trains are pulled out in a bunch rather than spread out nicely no?

Dear media and assorted newsmakers, please don’t just throw a bunch of figures at readers. It’s tiring trying to make sense of them. In fact, this lady is so fatigued she doesn’t even want to read about the quarterly labour figures….

Written By

An ex-journalist who can't get enough of the news after being in the business for 26 years

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