Lets say you want to write a news article about the presidential candidates... and how they are viewed by economists.
Step 1 - Send a form email to hundreds of economists. Ask them who would be better for the economy.
Step 2 - Get 17 responses back. Act like that's all you wanted to get.
Step 3 - Write an article about how 9/17 selected Romney, and 3/17 selected Obama.
Step 4 - Give it a title "Economists RELUCTANTLY pick Romney
Step 5 - Get yelled at by your editor for yelling in the title, and breaking formatting rules.
Step 6 - Ensure that you don't qualify the claims of your study, cite names, or provide any other helpful data.
Step 7 - Publish: http://money.cnn.com/2012/09/30/news/ec … ?hpt=hp_t2
Let's not confuse journalists with pollsters.
The journalist is not looking for a representative sampling of economics with a margin of error of +/-3.
Getting 17 responses back is actually a pretty good response.
It might be helpful to the reader to know where these economists are.
I see one is from Brown and one is from Cal Lu. So are we to assume all the economists are economics INSTRUCTORS at UNIVERSITIES?
As to the the slant of the reporting.
The journalist in question could have left the story at 9/17 economists favor Romney and 3/17 favor Obama. He could have even said 3x more economists pick Romney than Obama. And that would be technically true, right?
Some news outlets would jump at being able to paint the story in such glowing light for Romney.
Until you read what the economists actually say to qualify their pick.
The real story here is the huge ambivalence.
A full 5 out of 17 refused to pick either one!
And those that did make selections caveated their picks pretty heavily.
There are sufficient citations for both sides of the story -- quotes from a couple who think Romney will be better and a couple who think a second Obama term might improve things.
For a roundup story like this, I think the reporter did a decent job of citing sources to represent what are basically the THREE sides of story.
You obviously disagree.
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