Monday, January 18, 2010

Stay Classy, Lynn Item

The Lynn Item decided to run an online poll on who (internet) readers would prefer for their Senator -- which isn't odd. Many newspapers have done that. Scott Brown happened to win the online poll, for whatever that matters (not much).

However, not many newspapers have then used those online -- unscientific -- polls to thus exclaim about a candidate "Greater Lynn Voters Prefers Scott Brown by Wide Margin," like the Lynn Item did... in today's above-the-fold, headline article. Furthermore, they did so without mentioning the fact that their poll was not a scientific poll and failing to include "internet poll" in the headline.

The Lynn Item has never been the kind of paper that's had a lot of journalistic integrity, at least as long as I can remember. However, this really takes the cake. Reporting this "poll" as if it had a shred of credibility, then using it for a headline article on the Monday before the election to make it appear as if Scott Brown enjoys any kind of real advantage in the greater region is asinine.

The frustrating thing is this would have been a fantastically interesting poll to take -- if the Lynn Item wanted to do it the journalistic way and conduct a real poll. I'd have enjoyed reading that article. But the fact remains that this poll was utterly meaningless and the article was therefore horseshit. Way to stay classy, Lynn Item. With utter crap like this, maybe the demise of the local, daily paper isn't such a bad thing?


Anonymous said...

The best thing about this is if there is such a back lash against the Democratic machine here in the bluest of blue states, imagine what will happen when there are races in other states where the Dems are only marginally in control. (Since you probably won't print this, at least you can read it Ryan. My wife and I went to our first rally ever in Worcester yesterday, for Brown. It was wonderful)

Ryan said...

Anon -- I'm glad you're enjoying the political process. As much as I think Brown is a terrible, terrible choice for Massachusetts, I think contested races are healthy for democracies.

That said, I think we can all agree that newspapers should be more responsible than printing online polls as if they were scientific or reflective of the actual region they claimed to be polling.

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