How Irene Lived Up to the Hype
Nate Silver, brain behind the statistical magic of FiveThirtyEight, points his sights at Hurricane Irene and tries to come up with a reasonable analysis of news coverage as compared to economic impact and measurable damage of severe weather.
We’ll accomplish this by creating a statistic which I’ll call the News Unit or NU. This is defined by taking the total number of stories that mentioned the storm by name for instance, “Hurricane Hugo” or “Tropical Storm Hugo”; either one is considered acceptable and dividing by the average number of stories per day that were available in the NewsLibrary.com database during that period. I then multiply the result by 10 just to make things a little bit more legible — so essentially, a News Unit consists of one-tenth of all the stories published on a given day.
He does lots of analysis and finds some interesting things out. It’s a lengthy article to read, but a worthwhile example of data-driven analysis from a wide variety of sources.