Journalist complains polling question wasn’t leading enough

Damien Venuto writes at NZ Herald:

In November last year, 54 per cent of respondents to a poll from the Taxpayers' Union and Curia said they were opposed to the state broadcaster merging. In contrast, a follow-up poll conducted by NZ on behalf of the Better Public Media Trust in December found that only 29 per cent of respondents did not support it.

The difference here lay in the way the questions were asked to the public.

The Research NZ poll asked: “The government is planning to merge TVNZ and RNZ into a new state-owned public media service, with an extra $109 million per year, which equals to $22 per person per year. If this organisation provided new content for niche, minority and regional audiences while keeping the current TV, and online services as well, would you support it?”

The Taxpayers' Union poll did not provide that framing, which ostensibly contributed to higher levels of opposition.

This is incredible. The Curia-TU poll asked a simple non-leading questions – Do you support or oppose the proposed merger of TVNZ and RNZ.

The poll by the Better Public Media Trust uses a hypothetical scenario to engineer higher support and the journalist basically complains that the Curia-TU poll didn't!

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