Monday, November 08, 2004

Trust is important

If we can't trust news organizations to put out the correct information, how are we to believe what we read? Even the bloggers who mishandled and printed bad information about the exit polls on election day did a lot to set credibility on the Internet back.

One thing that has bothered me about the coverage of the early exit poll snafu on Nov. 2nd was the notion that bloggers were the problem. "Bloggers Said to Blame for Bad Poll Info," read the headline over the AP story in the New York Times, consistently echoing the line from those close to the exit poll process:

Joe Lenski, whose Edison Research conducted the NEP exit poll, said: "The basic issue here is the leaking of this information without any sophisticated understanding or analysis."
CBS News Polling Director Kathy Frankovic said: "I think people believed [the leaked polls], and it's particularly the case with Internet bloggers."
Former CBS News Executive Political Director Martin Plissner wrote: "The problem is not that the exit polls were wrong...the problem was that in the age of the Internet the exit polls were being seen by thousands of people who didn't know how to read them."
The New York Sun headline said it all: "Bloggers Botch Election Call; Networks Cautious, Steady."

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