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More or Less: Behind the Stats

More or Less: Behind the Stats

Podcast More or Less: Behind the Stats
Podcast More or Less: Behind the Stats

More or Less: Behind the Stats


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  • When do food shortages become a famine?
    Somalia is experiencing its worst drought for 40 years and there are warnings that millions of people need food assistance urgently. The UN body tasked with classifying levels of food security has projected a famine, although no official declaration has yet been made. We ask what data is used to formally categorise famine and explore some of the difficulties in collecting it, with the help of UN IPC Global Programme Manager Jose Lopez and Professor Laura Hammond, Pro Director of Research & Knowledge Exchange at SOAS. Presenter & producer: Jon Bithrey Editor: Simon Watts Production Coordinator: Jacqui Johnson Sound Engineer: James Beard (Image: People affected by the worsening drought due to failed rain seasons, look on, at the Alla Futo camp for internally displaced people, in the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia. REUTERS/Feisal Omar)
  • A $220 billion World Cup?
    As the FIFA World Cup in Qatar gets underway, and the newly built stadia, lavish hotels and transport networks come to life, More or Less investigates just how much the Gulf nation has spent in the lead-up to the tournament. Reports claim the figure could be as much as $220 billion - that’s more than Qatar's annual GDP, and more than ten times higher than the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. At an estimated $15 billion, this was previously the most expensive tournament to date. With no access to Qatar’s accounts, and with very few official figures in circulation, More or Less has recruited some of the world’s leading experts in sports finance to crunch the numbers and to ask…is this really a $220 billion World Cup? Presenter: Paul Connolly Producers: Paul Connolly and Jon Bithrey Editor: Simon Watts Production Coordinator: Jacqui Johnson Sound Engineer: Rod Farquhar (Image: Al Wakrah Stadium, the second FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 (TM) venue: The 2022 Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy via Getty Images)
  • Bonus Episode: Understand the Economy
    Tim Harford brings you the first episode of his new podcast, Understand the Economy. If you’ve been missing his dulcet tones, here’s a chance for you to have a preview of Tim Harford’s latest podcast, in which he offers really simple explanations to help make sense of the economy today. If you enjoy it, you can find the rest of the series on BBC Sounds or wherever you get your podcasts. In this episode, inflation. What is inflation, why does it matter, and is someone to blame if it goes up? Understanding inflation will help you understand why your shopping is getting more and more expensive and why prices rarely seem to go down. Tim Harford explains why the inflation figure you see on the TV might not reflect the price rises you’re experiencing and economic historian Victoria Bateman tells us why having a boat load of silver coins isn’t always a good thing. Everything you need to know about the economy and what it means for you. This podcast will cut through the jargon to bring you clarity and ensure you finally understand all those complicated terms and phrases you hear on the news. Inflation, GDP, Interest rates, and bonds, Tim Harford and friends explain them all. We’ll ensure you understand what’s going on today, why your shopping is getting more expensive or why your pay doesn’t cover your bills. We’ll also bring you surprising histories, from the war hungry Kings who have shaped how things are counted today to the greedy merchants flooding Spain with Silver coins. So if your eyes usually glaze over when someone says ‘cutting taxes stimulates growth’, fear no more, we’ve got you covered. Producer: Phoebe Keane Researcher: Drew Hyndman Editor: Clare Fordham Find all the episodes here: A BBC Long Form Audio Production for BBC Radio 4
  • Improving the numbers in the news
    How can journalists improve their use of statistics in their reporting of the world around us? It’s a question US academics John Bailer and Rosemary Pennington tackle in their new book Statistics Behind the Headlines. They join Tim Harford to talk about how journalism can be improved by asking the right questions about numbers and using them in the wider context of a story. Presenter: Tim Harford Producer: Jon Bithrey Editor: Simon Watts Production Coordinator: Jacqui Johnson Sound Engineer: Graham Puddifoot (Image: Electronic and paper media: scanrail/Getty)
  • Lula’s “zero deforestation” plan for the Amazon
    Lula Da Silva has pledged “zero deforestation” in the Amazon as he prepares to become Brazil’s next president, in contrast to the policies of outgoing leader Jair Bolsonaro under whom the destruction of the rainforest has soared. On this edition of More or Less we ask how much of the Amazon has been lost and whether Lula’s aim of zero deforestation can be achieved. Presenter and producer: Jon Bithrey Editor: Simon Watts: Sound engineer: David Crackles Production Co-ordinator: Jacqui Johnson (Image: Aerial view of the deforestation of the Amazon: Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino/File Photo)

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