Exiting the exit poll: The AP’s new plan for surveying voters after a not-so-hot 2016

One hundred and seventy-four days remain until the United States’ midterm elections (421 until the next presidential election, but who’s counting) — which means there’s still time to “evolve” how polling is conducted. The 2016 presidential election wasn’t polling’s shining moment, with many post-mortems pointing to opinion polls misleading election forecasters and underestimating now-President Trump’s support. It didn’t help that some polls were tied to news organizations that don’t really have the resources anymore to support this work — at least doing this work well. There’s no perfect poll aside from (maybe) the ballot itself, but the polling system — both conducted by the media and reported on in the media — has faced critics since long before November 8, 2016. These issues contributed to the Associated Press’ and Fox News’ departure from the Election Day polling data shared by the major networks last year. But now the wire Continue reading "Exiting the exit poll: The AP’s new plan for surveying voters after a not-so-hot 2016"

Trump Dishes on His Phone Chat Congratulating Putin on Election Win: ‘We Had a Very Good Call’

Bosom buddies Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump had a rip-roaring time on the horn when Trump congratulated the Russian president for winning the “election.” This is according to… Donald Trump. After answering questions about the bombings in Austin during a joint press conference with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House, a reporter asked an inaudible question, to which Trump responded: “I had a call with president Putin and congratulated him on his election victory.” “The call had to do also with the fact that we will probably get together in the not-too-distant future so that we can discuss the arms race,” Trump continued. “As you know, he made a statement that being in an arms race is not a great thing … and we are spending $700 billion this year on our military, and a lot of it is that we are going to Continue reading "Trump Dishes on His Phone Chat Congratulating Putin on Election Win: ‘We Had a Very Good Call’"

Watch Guardian’s Stunning Interview With Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower: ‘A Grossly Unethical Experiment’

A 27-year-old data scientist named Christopher Wylie revealed extraordinary information about his time working for Cambridge Analytica in an interview with The Guardian published Saturday. The controversial company harvested 50 million Facebook users’ personal information in an attempt to “build a psychological profile of each voter” throughout the United States, Wylie said. Among other charges, the whistleblower said the company was capable of pulling users’ private information without their consent, including status updates and direct messages. He also directly contradicted statements made by Alexander Nix, the chief executive of Cambridge Analytica’s parent company SCL Group, who denied the use of Facebook data in a testimony before Parliament. “That’s just fundamentally not true because we spent a million dollars harvesting tens of millions of Facebook profiles, and those profiles were used as the basis of the algorithms that became the foundation of Cambridge Analytica,” Wylie said. “The company was founded Continue reading "Watch Guardian’s Stunning Interview With Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower: ‘A Grossly Unethical Experiment’"

Trump Says ‘Mueller Probe Should Never Have Been Started’ in Scathing Tweets After McCabe Firing

President Donald Trump unleashed a series of scathing tweets on Saturday, blasting Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation and Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the FBI. The president’s tweets were unusual — even for him — in that they arrived the same day his personal lawyer said the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election should come to an end, before walking that statement back shortly after. “The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime,” the president tweeted Saturday night. “It was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC, and improperly used in FISA COURT for surveillance of my campaign. WITCH HUNT!”

The Best Evidence of ‘Russian Collusion’ Is Trump World’s Reaction to the Allegation

I see the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election as Robert Mueller slowly painting a giant mural from the edges of his canvas and working towards the center, with all of us guessing as to what the final product will reveal when he’s finally done. Through that prism, in the last few days we have gotten to see several more important brush strokes, but where it is all really going is still mostly a mystery. Opinion on the Russia probe has now become extremely divided, with the two basic sides entrenched in their own realities which have almost nothing in common. The left seems convinced that Mueller is the process of removing Trump from office, maybe even putting him and his family in prison, and eradicating the cancerous polyp from our collective faces that is the result of, what is to them, a catastrophic Continue reading "The Best Evidence of ‘Russian Collusion’ Is Trump World’s Reaction to the Allegation"

MediaShift Podcast #255: Upheaval at LA Times, Tronc; Facebook to Rank News Sources According to Surveys; Al Jazeera’s Julie Caine

In the news this week, the Los Angeles Times is coping with major turmoil, as employees vote to form a union, a new strategy is unveiled including a contributor network, and new publisher and CEO Ross Levinsohn is under attack for past sexual harassment charges, taking a leave of absence. Facebook announced that it would rank news sources according to reader feedback, but critics don’t think it will help weed out fake news. Snapchat finally lets people post snaps outside of the app, but will it help the struggling social video service get more users? Our Metric of the Week is Mobile Page Speed, and Al Jazeera’s Julie Caine, who’s helping to launch a new podcast network there called Jetty joins us. Don’t have a lot of time to spare, but still want to get a roundup of the week’s top news? Then check out our Digital Media Brief below!

Continue reading "MediaShift Podcast #255: Upheaval at LA Times, Tronc; Facebook to Rank News Sources According to Surveys; Al Jazeera’s Julie Caine"

MediaShift Podcast #248: Thirty Governments Stifling Internet Freedom; Sexual Harassment at Vice; Sports Podcaster King Kaufman

“The Collaboration of the Week” is a new podcast segment highlighting one important media collaboration and explaining how they did it. The series is sponsored by Airtable, the all-in-one collaboration platform for creative teams. Receive $50 in credit by visiting airtable.com/mediashift. In the news this week, a new Freedom House study found that 30 governments around the world had been spreading disinformation online and attacking the media, with 18 elections affected by misinformation online and on social media. The Daily Beast reports that a dozen current and former employees at Vice Media describe a culture of sexual harassment, with older men preying on younger female colleagues. Leaked correspondence between Donald Trump, Jr. and WikiLeaks give insight into coordination during the campaign, including WikiLeaks asking for Julian Assange to be made ambassador to Australia. Our first Collaboration of the Week, presented by Airtable, is the Paradise Papers and how they
Continue reading "MediaShift Podcast #248: Thirty Governments Stifling Internet Freedom; Sexual Harassment at Vice; Sports Podcaster King Kaufman"