I placed into intermediate algebra and doubt that it's necessary for news reporters. I could, however, be mistaken.
You BETTER believe it is important! M777, something you need to understand (and everyone else for that matter) is that written (and visual) media sources (the Newspress being the biggest culprit) is absolutely riddled with poor reporting involving any type of quantifiable analysis. It ranges from the sciences to history, business, economics, demographics...you name it! Mistakes include: false assumptions, faulty reasoning, incorrect understandings of basic economics, misleading numbers and conclusions, bad data and just poor analyses to name just a few! I just read an article on supposed over/under priced realestate the other day. The other was trying to show which Metro areas were the most under/overpriced based on some "equilibrium" value he calculated for each area. The problem was, there was absolutely no reference to HOW this "equilibrium" value was calculated or his methodology (not even a vague idea), no reference to the source of ANY of his data and other questions could be made. The media frequently seems to think that since they are the media, then what they say is gospel.
Why isn't there a math prerequisite for the class at SFCC? (Maybe you shouldn't answer that.)
Because as GiC said, it is a poor quality class. In my freshman year at UC Santa Barbara 12 years ago (or maybe it was Soph), I took an Astronomy class as a general science "GE" (General Ed). I think the math pre-req was at least intermediate/advanced Algebra and Trigonometry. Mathematically, the class was a joke compared to my Physics classes which required a semester of Calc for the first class and increased the amount of Calc for the other two classes in the sequence.
I've heard that math helps a person become a better analytical thinker, which is something I could use for journalism, philosophy and theology.
It is something that should even be required but isn't! A classmate of mine in my statistics classes in college was doubling in Stats and Sociology. The stats course she had to take through the Sociology Dept she said was a joke. People were misusing stats and using faulty reasoning left and right.