After a Media Matters study showed that major print outlets mostly reported budget figures as raw numbers, Just Foreign Policy and MoveOn.Org gathered over 20,000 signatures on a petition asking for more context. Soon after, The New York Times announced steps to improve its numbers-based reporting.
Media Matters found that three major national print outlets -- The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post -- mostly reported figures on debt, deficits, spending, and revenue in terms of raw numbers devoid of relevant context, such as previous years' numbers or monthly figures, that would give readers a more accurate depiction of the economy.
The petition from Just Foreign Policy and MoveOn.Org asked The New York Times to put budget numbers in context by reporting budget items as a share of a larger budget instead of merely in dollar terms.
Read the response from New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan here.