Friday, March 07, 2008

News story did not do enough research

[There was considerable election material on the air in the the week of March 2, 2008, leading up to the Ohio presidential primary on March 4th. We quoted from an Ohio Poll that showed Hillary Clinton in the lead for the Democratic nomination. Listener Steve felt we needed to go beyond stories from the Associated Press and Ohio Public Radio. He directed us to a Reuters web site that reported a Zogby poll finding that Barack Obama was gaining ground. He went on to add:]

It would be a simple thing for [your news reporters] to google Texas or Ohio poll and find the correct information,. . . [I question] . . . the wisdom of reporting that poll without at least reporting some of the others which contradict it. I consider this a serious problem, one that any news director should not ever make on something as important as tomorrow’s election . . .

I just can’t understand how someone could just report a poll result in the face of the common information throughout all the main media that the race is too close to call. How hard is it to just google “Ohio Primary” and get some information that might helps one make a considered judgment about what to report? It is not good to plead ignorance in things like this in a matter so important as choosing the President of the US. But ignorance is better than willful political intention to try to sway undecideds, which I am sure is not the case here. So I guess things could be worse.

--Steve in Oxford

[We’ll point out that the Ohio Poll we had quoted turned out to be more accurate than the Zogby poll and that 'the common information throughout all the main media' can sometimes be a house of mirrors. But that of course is hindsight; we were lucky this time, and we appreciate the comment. -- Ed.]


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