Sunday, October 5, 2008

Nik Nanos…the most under-reported pollster in Canadian history?

In 2006, Nik Nanos nailed the election results exactly and the country was surprised! Canada’s corporate media had been reporting from all the other polling sources to get the story about the campaign and they were off target, some more than others.

Fast forward to Campaign 2008 and the corporate media goes with their old pals in the pollstering business. Didn’t they learn their lesson? Or do they have a horse in this race?

Questioning media intention has become a blood sport in North America but there is one definitive study this year that indicates a hint at the truth. There is a long-standing myth of a liberal bias in the media that just does not hold up to scrutiny. Media Matter’s study indicates a 67% influence by conservative writers! With the recent convergence of Canadian media in the hands of conservative supporters. I believe, the Canadian public is not being served by its media in an unbiased way and this transfers especially to interference in the democratic process of an election.

When Stephen Harper says we are becoming more conservative, I believe what he means is that our media is becoming more conservative and he might very well be right. The problem for media is they’ve seen a drop off of subscribers and viewers. Is it that Canadians are not seeing themselves represented in their media and are checking out the internet for sources of information that are more in tune and reflective of who they are?

For me, that is true. I can personally vouch for not watching television for months on end and reading headlines online for several major and regional newspapers. I also gather news from magazines and get my hints for what to look for from the CBC radio which is on all hours of the day. When a story comes up on the radio that I’m interested in, I’ll look for the rest of the information online.

Broadcasting does have a horse in this race this time. Harper has hinted for years about the privatization of the CBC. With a majority in government, I believe he would do this within weeks not months. So the private broadcasters are looking forward to the CBC being put on a level playing field with them – whoring for advertising dollars.

How does the CBC get away with its obvious conservative slant this time? Well, lets follow the money trail? Who wins when an organization is privatized? It’s the people in the hot seat on the day of privatization. Is the CBC’s new (conservative appointed) management team looking to make a fast buck? Are the regular talking heads in the radio and television newsrooms sucking up to the new mandate from on high?

From personal observation, I’d say something is afoot in the Canadian media. And it starts with election poll results and how they are reported.

So, are you interested in the horse race? See what Nik Nanos has to say about Stephane Dion’s Liberal team closing the gap and Dion’s rise in the Leadership Index and make up your own mind about what’s going on. Look around online and find some real information recognizing that the media might have a horse in the race that might not be the same horse as yours.


Anonymous said...

This is interesting, because I seem to have this conversation frequently with political activists.

If Canada is becoming more Conservative, it is because they have taken control of the media, and explicitly expressed the intention to make it so through their content.

Martin, Lawrence. As the media tilt rightward, so will the country. Globe and Mail. February 14, 2008. Retrieved May 2, 2008 from:

Deb Prothero said...

Thanks Omar;

That's a great link you have there, I'm keeping it for future reference. It describes exactly what I've been thinking about. Now how can we challenge it? If Harper's elected and we no longer have the CBC, then we'll be in really deep trouble.