Transforming Stability into Change: How the Media Select and Report Opinion Polls

Erik Gahner Larsen*, Zoltán Fazekas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Although political polls show stability over short periods of time, most media coverage of polls highlights recurrent changes in the political competition. We present evidence for a snowball effect where small and insignificant changes in polls end up in the media coverage as stories about changes. To demonstrate this process, we rely on the full population of political polls in Denmark and a combination of human coding and supervised machine learning of more than four thousand news articles. Through these steps, we show how a horserace coverage of polls about change can rest on a foundation of stability.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Press/Politics
Number of pages20
ISSN1940-1612
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: July 22, 2019

Keywords

  • Opinion polls
  • Political coverage
  • Public opinion
  • Media bias

Cite this

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Transforming Stability into Change : How the Media Select and Report Opinion Polls. / Larsen, Erik Gahner; Fazekas, Zoltán.

In: International Journal of Press/Politics, 22.07.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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