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Christian Christensen @ChrChristensen
, 9 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Remember anti-immigration, anti-gun control talking point at the start of 2018 (based on a very small sample at the start of of the year) that London had more murders, and was now more dangerous, than New York? Total murders for each city for all of 2018:

NY: 289
London: 132
The number of murders in New York in 2018 (289) is the lowest number since the 1950s, while the number in London (132) is the highest in a decade. Bad numbers for London, of course, but NY's lowest murder total in 60 years is still more than double London's total.
If you want a good example of how NOT to use statistics in journalism, the 2018 London/NY murder story is it. As year-end numbers show, discussing "murder rates" based on just 2 months (Feb/Mar) was sensationalist and useless, playing into a number of far-right talking points.
And, it wasn't just US outlets that fell into this trap. This is from the BBC. Really shoddy journalism.
What made the reporting about London having a "higher murder rate" than NY particularly awful was that it looked at February and March 2018 only, but didn't include January. Why? Didn't fit the narrative, I guess. In those 3 months TOTAL, NY had 50 murders, London had 48.
Swedish media also jumped on the "London now has more murders than New York!" bandwagon, based on a truly awful, unprofessional use of limited statistics. By the end of the year, NY had more than double the number of murders than London.
Why does this matter? When news outlets misrepresent things like crime statistics, and then make no effort to amend/contextualize earlier stories once they are exposed as flawed, it leaves readers with a completely skewed view of the world. How is that "in the public interest"?
(Note: I’m aware that murder rates and number of murders are mixed in this thread. London and NY are very, very close in terms of population, so rates would be almost the same if there were same number of murders.)
Thus, per capita, the numbers appear to come out like this...
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