Political

Free book chapter: The Flaws in Election Campaign Coverage

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Sign up below to get a free chapter from my book, Bad News (or jump in to buy the book right now from WaterstonesAmazon or Biteback).

The free chapter is the one all about how the media repeatedly gets its coverage wrong at campaign time – and so arms you with the right information to avoid being misled by their coverage.

Here’s how it starts:

Elections are treated as special moments by the news industry. Additional journalists are allocated to covering the detail of day-by-day political news, coverage is expanded and new features are added. Even special logos and straplines are rolled out. The result, however, is a misleading mess.

I love elections. My most frequent purchase from eBay is old election leaflets and my most expensive is an American voting machine. I’ve featured in a BBC story about politically branded ukuleles and underpants. I have spent much of my life organising election campaigns, with an 86 per cent win rate as a campaign manager. I earned a living doing this for years and I even co-authored a book about winning. For me, the first ballot paper tumbling out of a ballot box at an election count is equivalent to the feeling others get on the first ball of the new season, the first fall of snow or the first fruit of the year from the garden.

So why do I no longer love news coverage of the campaigns? Because it’s like medieval western medicine: earnest people trying to do the right thing and yet wildly misdiagnosing because they do not understand what causes what.

To read on, sign up to get the full chapter:

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