Guide by RTDNA: “Watch a press conference, turn on a newscast, or overhear just about any phone conversation these days and you’ll hear mayors discussing R values, reporters announcing new fatalities and separated families comparing COVID case rolling averages in their counties. As coronavirus resurges across the country, medical data is no longer just the purview of epidemiologists (though a quick glance at any social media comments section shows an unlikely simultaneous surge in the number of virology experts and statisticians).
Journalists reporting on COVID, however, have a particular obligation to understand the data, to add context and to acknowledge uncertainty when reporting the numbers.
“Journalism requires more than merely reporting remarks, claims or comments. Journalism verifies, provides relevant context, tells the rest of the story and acknowledges the absence of important additional information.” – RTDNA Code of Ethics
This guide to common COVID metrics is designed to help journalists know how each data point is calculated, what it means and, importantly, what it doesn’t mean….(More)”.