Thursday, October 2, 2008

Guess They Don't Teach Maths at Journalism School

The candidate for the dumbest piece of journalism of the year appeared today on the website. It's so bad it isn't even attributed to a specific journalist - perhaps it was just written by the fairy?

Here's the headline:
Labor support eases

Fair enough I guess; you want a headline that will get people reading, and any evidence of the Government sinking in the polls is newsworthy (of sorts).

So let's read on:
SUPPORT for the Labor Federal Government has eroded since it came to power in November last year, according to a Newspoll analysis.

Wow. That is news - and it has some data to back it up. Excellent let's keep reading:

When the Rudd government was elected its support was 52.7 per cent on a two-party-preferred measure against the Coalition, which was on 47.3 per cent.

Ok, bit of history... good.
The split blew out to 60 per cent support for Labor to 40 per cent support for the Coalition for the January to March period, but has since eased. New newspoll figures published by News Ltd today put support for Labor at 56 per cent for July to September, and at 44 per cent for the Coalition.

Hmm ok... I guess they'll get to the erosion of support since the election soon...

The polling period does not include the Coalition's move to replace Brendan Nelson as opposition leader with Malcolm Turnbull.

Wait on... that's it?? Oh now some stuff on Rudd himself...
The analysis additionally shows there remains strong voter support for Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, despite his rating as "Better PM" falling slightly from 72 per cent in the three months to March, to 68 per cent.

And that's it, aside from:
The analysis also shows federal Labor continues to poll strongly on Australia's eastern seaboard, but it suffered a setback in South Australia and it continues to trail the Coalition in WA.

So let's recap. The headline of Labor support eases, and "support for the Rudd Government has eroded since it came to power", is based on polling which shows support for the ALP going from 52.7% on election day to now being at 56%.

Strange, I was taught that erosion means something is less than it was...

It's this fine journalism which ensures I will forever stay naught but a lowly blogger. I'm just not up to the mainstream media's level of analysis.

We see the same line over on SBS's website:

Support 'eroded for Rudd government'
The latest Newspoll shows support for the Labor federal government has eroded since it came to power in November last year.
When the Rudd government was elected its support was 52.7 per cent with the Coalition at 47.3 per cent.Labor's lead over the Opposition blew out to 60 per cent, 40 in the first three months of this year, but has been easing ever since.
Newspoll figures in today's The Australian newspaper puts support for the government at 56 per and the Coalition at 44 per cent.

Marginally better - but saying it has eroded since it was at 60% is like saying Usain Bolt since breaking the world record at the Olympics has been unable to improve his times.

Sixty percent Two-Party Preferred is a joke percentage that not even Kevin Rudd's mum would believe. To use that as the barometer is dumb journalism. And at worst, biased.

Just pathetic. No wonder no one wanted to put their name to it.

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