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The Unimportance of Political News – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver

November 18th, 2012 · No Comments · Electoralism, Journalism, Newspapers, Politics, Spin, The Media

Political news, and especially the important news that really affects the campaign, proceeds at an irregular pace. But news coverage is produced every day. Most of it is filler, packaged in the form of stories that are designed to obscure its unimportance.* Not only does political coverage often lose the signal—it frequently accentuates the noise. If there are a number of polls in a state that show the Republican ahead, it won’t make news when another one says the same thing. But if a new poll comes out showing the Democrat with the lead, it will grab headlines—even though the poll is probably an outlier and won’t predict the outcome accurately.

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