Monday, May 29, 2006

Clippertoday:Inside Story-Manipulation of online polling hurts all of us

Treasure the Clipper

The Clipper is an amazing paper!

No, really! I am astounded when I do read it. One never knows what can, and will, be printed in it's pages. Let me offer one example.

Rolf Koecher at the Clipper wrote an article about me last week without contacting me for comment. He did seem to have talked to one other party regarding the incident (Rob Miller), but did not quote anyone else. The article was about an opinion poll that pitted Dannie McConkie against Bret Millburn and Rob Miller. I would think that a balanced reporter would also have tried to get a comment from Millburn after writing, "In a Monday afternoon conversation with Rob Miller over this incident, he told me he had seen an outpouring of support from all quarters — not just from those in Davis County — judging from the huge volume of e-mail he had received over the poll." There was not a single statement from Millburn in the entire article!

Two is not a few?

Apparently, the Clipper has had more incidents than this. (italics are mine)

"The company that hosts our Web site manages sites for well over 100 newspapers across America. They’ve had few problems in their other markets — except for here. So we’ve asked them to beef up their security measures a second time. "

If I'm to understand the above paragraph correctly, other markets haven't been without incident regarding security. They've had "few" problems elsewhere. The implication is that we've had two incidents with security on the Clipper website. What was the first incident? If we've, actually, only had this one incident, then it is impossible that we have had more problems than other markets that have seen "few", not zero, incidents. It seems to me that our market isn't that different at all.

No online poll is perfect but this is the worst I've ever seen. The least the Clipper Poll could do is record IP addresses when votes are cast so to prevent duplicate votes from the same machine. This is already done by other online polls.The Clipper has repeatedly demonstrated it's own mediocrity in it's reporting. It seldom gives all parties a fair hearing. It should at least try to give those it opposes the credit that it gives itself.

Clippertoday:Inside Story-Manipulation of online polling hurts all of us