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

Larsen, Erik Gahner, Fazekas, Zoltán (2019) Transforming Stability into Change: How the Media Select and Report Opinion Polls. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 25 (1). pp. 115-134. ISSN 1940-1612. E-ISSN 1940-1620. (doi:10.1177/1940161219864295) (KAR id:74553)


While 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 over 4,000 news articles. Through these steps we show how a horserace coverage of polls about change can rest on a foundation of stability.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/1940161219864295
Uncontrolled keywords: opinion polls, political coverage, public opinion, media bias
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Erik Larsen
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2019 15:57 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 15:40 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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