Thursday, January 6, 2011

Blog Assignment #1

Murray, Sara. "Bankruptcy Filings Jumped 9% Last Year." The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company Inc., 4 Jan. 2011. Web. 6 Jan. 2011. .

1) This study, showing that bankruptcy has jumped by 9% in the last year, was done by the American Bankruptcy Institute and the National Bankruptcy Research Center.

2) Both institutes appear to have sponsored the research themselves, although there may have been backing by another, unspecified group.

3) There does not seem to be much of a bias here, although the American Bankruptcy Institute is made up of a group of attorneys and other bankruptcy professionals who may profit from a higher percentage of bankruptcy. Reporting a high number of filings could lead other people to file as well since they would think that it was normal.

4) There was no specific information on methodology given. However, it appeared that the study accounted for all of the people who had filed for bankruptcy, with the base group being the amount of bankruptcies in 2009.

5) The results are communicated in a relatively clear manner, however the author does throw around a lot of different statistics throughout the article that could confuse a reader. As well, at the beginning of the article the author mentions several causes for this 9% increase in bankruptcies since last year. However, there was no research done on the influence for the bankruptcies and so it seems a bit inappropriate to put that kind of inference as though it were clear-cut information.

6) There is a very nicely displayed bar graph that shows the trend in bankruptcies over the years in the United States. It is very helpful in displaying the pattern over the last decade of bankruptcies in the United States, but a long-term graph might create less panic and be more helpful in showing the readers what to expect in the future.

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