The ‘Nate Silver effect’ on political journalism: Gatecrashers, gatekeepers, and changing newsroom practices around coverage of public opinion polls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article presents findings from 41 in-depth interviews with political journalists, media analysts, and public opinion pollsters in the United States. These interviews document several trends in how journalists assess and cover public opinion. The article shows (1) a growing interest in and reliance on polling aggregator websites fueled by demands for precise predictions, (2) the erosion of news organizations’ abilities to assert independent gatekeeping standards around individual poll results, (3) concerns about the level of in-house expertise within newsrooms to adjudicate between surveys, and (4) changing attitudes about the importance of gatekeeping around public opinion data. These findings reflect an increasingly complex landscape of opinion data, which conventional news organizations appear ill-equipped to navigate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)873-889
Number of pages17
JournalJournalism
Volume20
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2017.

Keywords

  • Gatekeeping
  • interviewing
  • political journalism
  • public opinion

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The ‘Nate Silver effect’ on political journalism: Gatecrashers, gatekeepers, and changing newsroom practices around coverage of public opinion polls'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this