Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Times repeats the same trick that the Sun pulled yesterday:

Today The Times repeats the same misleading misrepresentation of an opinion poll to give an exaggerated impression of support among British Muslims for DA'ESH, (the so-called "Islamic State,") which The Sun published yesterday.

I suppose we should be grateful that this time the misleading headline appeared on page 11 and not the front page. However, like The Sun, they referred to the results of a Survation polling question which did not mention "ISIS" under that name or "IS," "ISIL," "DA'ESH" or any other of the names by which the organisation has been described, and misrepresented those results as suggesting that nearly a fifth of British Muslims has "sympathy for ISIS", which is not a safe inference from that poll.

It's just possible that the Sun's conduct could have been foolish rather than irresponsible. I can't believe whoever decided to repeat the story in The Times did not see any of the justified criticism which their sister paper's front page attracted. Shame on them.

No apology for repeating the link I used last night to a classic "Yes Prime Minister" clip on exactly this sort of opinion poll trick  ...

No apology either for repeating this graphic which shows how similar the views of British Muslims on the subject are to those of the rest of us:


Jim said...

Leading and mis reading polls is a common theme. It seems to me that this happened a lot during the last election too.

Its not that polling is an un useful tool, of course it has uses, but its not the be all and end all of any campaign, and certainly will have many variations based on how the question is asked, when it is asked and of course "what question is asked"

Basically the last election was "who would you rather have? cameron or Milliband with alot of sturgen" and look who won, albeit narrow.

the EU ref is turning more from a leave/remain in the EU question to a question asking "will you let the PM negotiate a better deal?" question.

you see the question asked is not always the question answered.

so to publish results in this way is down right dishonest, and as you pointed out before even if 20% of muslims did (which they dont) support DA'ESH, than that of course leaves 80% who most certainly don't.

How you frame a question is everything, and how you report the answer is more so.

Chris Whiteside said...

Yes, agree with all those points, thanks