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News media junk polls live on

4 May 21

News media junk polls live on
A Facebook informal poll by NewstalkZB

Radio New Zealand's Mediawatch programme reports that news organisations often report the results of informal polls they carry out by embedding surveys in stories or on social media.

It says: Mathematically minded people argue that in doing so, they're misinforming their audience members, and leaving them worse off.

However, in this full report, it reveals little will be done about the junk polling. The Media Council has ruled they have entertainment value, even though they can mislead people.

The 2021 Trust in News survey, conducted by Horizon for the AUT research centre for Journalism, Media and Democracy (JMAD) has found trust in news has eroded in the past year.

“In general, trust in the news has declined because the news media is seen as increasingly opinionated, biased, and politicised,” says JMAD co-director Merja Myllylahti.

The full Mediawatch story is here.

Footnote: Horizon Research conducts representative surveys of New Zealanders. We typically quota sample groups of respondents by age, gender, ethnicity and other factors to ensure a sample represents the census population. Results are further weighted to ensure they are representative. We invite respondents from our own research-specific online panels and other third-party panels for source diversity.

As a result results can be very accurate, like this one which was 238 votes only from calling the actual outcome of the 2020 referendum on the personal use of cannabis.

As a member of the professional research industry body, Research New Zealand, Horizon also follows its ethical guidelines and rules for conducting surveys in New Zealand, along with the rules of international research organisations.