Maths in the news: uses and errors in Portuguese newspapers

The authors present a quantitative content analysis to assess the use of mathematical information in the news of five generalist Portuguese newspapers during a three-month period. Misuses of mathematics were also studied in this context. Results show that only a small percentage of the news articles have mathematical information when compared to previous studies in the field. Furthermore, over 30% of the news articles containing mathematical information have some type of mathematical error. Different categories of errors are defined and reasons why these might occur are discussed.