‘Indignant Minnesotans’ Remind Journalists That Data Can Hurt

Minnesotans got a bitter lesson on the limits of data this week when the Washington Post’s Wonkblog published a map ranking every county in the US by “scenery and climate.” Reporter Christopher Ingraham built the graphic with data from the 1999 “natural amenities index,” a list based on climate, topography, and water. The North Star state didn’t fare well, with all but two of its 87 counties rating low on the list. (Red Lake County nabbed last place.) Residents took to social media to protest. They even formed a coalition on Twitter to express their dissatisfaction, calling themselves the “Indignant Minnesotans.”

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