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Surveys still have their use, but should the media be investing money on them?

Surveys still have their use, but should the media be investing money on them?
Even when the polls are 'right' at a national level, they're wrong where journalists need them to tell the story. Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight (Image: Supplied) After yet another polling miss, is it time to ask: what’s their point? Have they just become a journalistic bulk-weight, filling up space, drawing attention, taking up time? Sure. They retain…

Even when the surveys are ‘right’ at a nationwide level, they’re incorrect where journalists require them to tell the story.

Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight (Image: Supplied)

After yet another ballot miss, is it time to ask: what’s their point? Have they simply end up being a journalistic bulk-weight, filling up area, drawing attention, using up time?

Sure. They retain their value as emotional insurance coverage in an age of unpredictability. Better than a psychiatrist, actually. Over the previous year, they’ve relieved the world that everything would be OKAY, that as Joe Biden says consistently, “America is much better than this”.

They resemble modern-day morality plays, bulking out the media item with convenience readers yearn for. No surprise media outlets here and around the globe are keen to put their brands on them and pay the expense.

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About the Author

Christopher Warren

Christopher Warren is an Australian journalist and writer. He was federal secretary of the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance up until April 2015, and is a previous president of the International Federation of Journalists.

Christopher Warren —

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