# N EWSFLASH ! I S THE NEWS ACCURATE ? Laura Jennings and Timina Liu Year 11 Burgmann Anglican School.

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N EWSFLASH ! I S THE NEWS ACCURATE ? Laura Jennings and Timina Liu Year 11 Burgmann Anglican School

Aim: To determine the probability of errors on each page of a newspaper using the Poisson Distribution. Hypothesis: It is expected that there will be less than 5 errors on average on a page of a newspaper Materials: 3 newspapers of the same publisher Pen Excel

Method: 1. All the materials were gathered. 2. The first 10 pages with articles in a newspaper were carefully checked for spelling, grammatical and formatting errors. All errors were circled with a pen. 3. The number of errors on each of the pages were recorded, with their relative frequency calculated, plotted and fitted by a Poisson Distribution. 4. Steps 2 and 3 were repeated for the other 2 newspapers.

Discussion The general trend of the results has fitted well. The probabilities provide useful information on the number of errors in the newspapers. There are a small number of inconsistencies between the relative frequencies and the probability curve. However, they can be fixed. More pages for counts for the 3 newspapers can be used in the analysis. Further comparison could have been made between the different sections in the newspapers.

Conclusion The results support our hypothesis. For the majority of the results, the curve peaks at 3 to 5 errors per page. It is clear that it is rare to have no errors or to have more than 10 errors per page. Newspaper 3 has the smallest average of errors and is therefore better than the other two newspapers for the period of data collection.

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