Surge of dodgy „public opinion surveys”
Iryna Bekeshkina, Director of the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, has expressed concern over the surge of inadequate public opinion surveys. The situation is worse than during previous elections, she says, in that earlier such dodgy “studies” were not reported by leading television channels.
She points out that the difference from other countries lies in the fact that such dubious “studies” would simply not be reported by the media in those countries. TV channels are concerned enough about their reputation to not want to damage it through dubious material.
Asked how a TV viewer should protect him or herself, Ms Bekeshkina says that in principle they should not need to, and gives the analogy of a shop where you should be able to assume that all products are of the appropriate standard.
In practice, she says, there are easy ways of testing. Just look on the Internet and if you find that the “company” has never carried out any public opinion surveys before, then that is a clear indicator. She mentions a supposed study by a certain “PolitLab” which many even seemingly decent media publications reported.
The situation is clearly not regulated in Ukraine however she is against legislative measures. They won’t help, she says, and there is a danger that they’ll prohibit perfectly real companies. “We know very well how and against whom laws work here”.
She believes that speaking about the problem is some solution since at least those who have not been paid will be more cautious and not pass on such rubbish. She says that it seems to her that Ukrainian journalists just eat whatever morsels they find on the road. What’s lying available, they pick up and publish.
Much abridged from an interview to Radio Svoboda posted on the DIF site