Friday, January 20, 2017

Pervasive groupthink among media elites

Nate Silver has an important analysis of media coverage of the 2016 election in The Real Story of 2016.

In its broadest outline, I am in agreement with his points. A few nits here and there but I think he is on the right track. Regarding answers to the question about why the mainstream media got the election so wrong:
They also suggest there are real shortcomings in how American politics are covered, including pervasive groupthink among media elites, an unhealthy obsession with the insider’s view of politics, a lack of analytical rigor, a failure to appreciate uncertainty, a sluggishness to self-correct when new evidence contradicts pre-existing beliefs, and a narrow viewpoint that lacks perspective from the longer arc of American history.
Well, yes. I have been harping on the issue of analytical rigor (both narrative and empirical) and lack of perspective for some time but all the other points are pertinent as well.

We want to know the truth in order to make better, and more useful, forecasts about a whole range of things be it climate change, conservation, the criminal justice system, economic development, productivity growth, etc. We none of us benefit if our mainstream media are not interested in truth but only focus on ideological or partisan winning. The Truth is out there.

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