Where do you get reliable political information?

Barbara Kaye at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville has an interesting survey to examine the Internet’s influence on the U.S. political process.

2008 Politics and the Internet: A Survey of Internet Use for Political Information

I took this survey and was surprised by what my answers revealed in terms of changes in my political awareness and awareness of reliable information sources. Take this survey and see if you have similar results.

Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link.

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0 Responses to Where do you get reliable political information?

  1. Zack says:

    I was unimpressed with the survey. The layout is horrid. It is hard to tell which response is for which line. Also they ask the same thing several times with very little differentiation.

    Do you trust source X?
    Do you trust source X on the web?
    If you Use X how reliable do you think it is?
    etc.

    Basically a lot of redundancy in the questions and the groupings are poorly thought out. I mean clustering all political blogs together, clustering all news sites together, etc? Do I trust random media source Y? Hell no, but Do I trust factcheck.org or sourcewatch or other media analysis sources? Yes. Yet I have to rate them at the same time in a single score… How would you rate friendship, love, and getting kicked in the face by a bad man? (love it) 5 4 (3) 2 1 (hate it)

    Basically she groups unlike objects and asks how you rate them. Like how do you rate radio programs… Lets see that category includes: BBC world news desk, Howard stern, and Rush Limbaugh. Granted she splits it into talk radio and radio news, but still… How do I rate NPR, FOX, and BBC all at the same time in reliability?

  2. Rick Parrish says:

    Zack, you should read up on survey design– it’s very interesting stuff. Other than the layout (you’re right about that, it could use some work), there are reasons for everything the researcher has done.

    First of all the survey is about you, not about the sources. If you have a great deal of trust in Fox News and none in MSNBC, the question is about how much trust you have in cable news, NOT which one you trust.

    As for redundancy (on examination, I thought each set was about a different aspect so it’s not as redundant as you think), researchers often do ask the same question in different ways. This helps to get at the true thoughts and feelings of subjects with different learning/thinking styles, those who are trying to project an image of themselves that may not align with reality, and also weed out some of those who are intentionally trying to manipulate the survey. A good interviewer/interrogator uses many of the same techniques.

    Go to the library and read up on it–you’ll be surprised at what you learn.

  3. Jeffery Haas says:

    I get my political information from Capitol Hill Blue.

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