03 December 2012

New Politics, Polls and the Media #nlpoli

Given that the local media missed the single major story of the 2011 provincial general election until after it was over,  the editors and journalists in the province might want to think about how they can better cover the next provincial election.

They can get a start by checking out comments by Sasha Issenberg based on experience in the United States. Via Susan Delacourt:

So, I wondered, if we are behind the curve in political reporting, how do we get out ahead of it? How do we tell our readers or our audiences about campaigns that are created out of thousands, even millions, of “data points” guiding the political professionals?

Issenberg replied that a little humility was in order. Political journalists don’t have to stop covering the horse-race numbers or the big opinion trends — they’re still important, he said. But they have to stop pretending that the big picture is the only picture, that the campaign is being decided on the basis of what people see on television or on the artificial stage sets crafted by the politicians.

“Fundamentally, good political coverage needs to acknowledge that we cannot write with (any) sort of confidence about the entirety of the enterprise,” he said. “We need to be respectful enough of our readers to acknowledge how much of this is out of our reach and find a new knowledge of campaigns to engage that doubt.”