Wednesday, February 24, 2010

One thing wrong with newspapers: Stupid polls

A series of polls on have been running comparing four relatively distressed cities, Midland, Bay City, Saginaw and Flint.

A faithful FFE reader sent me a link to one poll on which has the best police departments, but I guess the comment thread got so blue, the MLive folks took it down.

The rest of the questions are equally inane and ridiculous, but some of the comments are pretty rich.

My favorite question (so far) is the one on where I would seek medical attention regardless of where I live. I'm going with whichever one is closest depending on whether I minutes to live depending on my condition.

Polls are a lazy way to present news and to prompt comments. Want to prompt real substantive comments, unleash a reporter to look into political corruption and wrong doing.


Susan said...

You should have been unleashed on Kilpatrick and the murder of Tamara Green! You would have made "those people" real nervous! I do know of one judge in Pontiac you made nervous! Glad you and Joan had a great vacation.

Anonymous said...

yes, polls are lazy. But not the laziest thing you see today. That distinction goes to writing a story based solely on the user comments people leave on mlive.

bill forward said...

Here's a poll:

Is it news when a former editor-in-chief gets busted drunk driving?

And, is it news when a former news editor is present for a 5-jurisdiction, 4-location search warrant execution for medicaid fraud?

Jim of L-Town said...

Thanks Susan. You must be talking about "Let 'em go Louie." I'll have to blog about that one.

There was a very interesting collection of judges in those days.

Judge Chris was always entertaining.

Jim of L-Town said...

Bill, I'm not familiar with the two instances you are pointing out. Feel free to contact me at my e-mail address in the column next to this comment column with more info.

Anonymous said...

From yesterday:

The Oregonian announced today the layoffs of 37 employees. The majority are in the news department, with smaller numbers in advertising, circulation and accounting. Affected staff members were notified this morning.

Severance packages were offered. Staffers were informed last year that layoffs were likely this month. The Oregonian, like all newspapers, has endured declining revenues the past few years, the result of the recession and the migration of advertising to the Internet.

After the layoff, Oregonian Publishing Company will have 750 employees, more than 200 of whom work in the news department.

“These layoffs are a painful but necessary part of our 2010 budget, which was developed to ensure financial stability for The Oregonian now and in the future,” said N. Christian Anderson III, president and publisher of The Oregonian.

-- The Oregonian

inky said...

I grew up in Saginaw and am dying to know when the Tri-Cities became "Great Lakes Bay."

Susan said...

Ah yes..."keep your seats, keep your seats" and "have a seat in the purple chairs".

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh when I read about the HUGE response the polls received. One quote said 224 people took part in one of the polls. Really? That many? I should say that as stupid as these are, I took part by voting just so I could see what the vote was. Now that doesn't make me an interested reader and it doesn't make me any less scornful of the stupidity of these polls. It was obvious that Flint doesn't fit this group. At all. Saginaw/BayCity and Midland are a real tri cities area. Flint is too far away. We are geographically distant, socially removed and ideologically light years from what goes on north of Clio.