I saw this cover on British rag The Sun this week. It revealed the results of a phone poll as part of its campaign to kickstart an open, honest debate in society about how best to boost sales of The Sun. Oh, and whether to reinstate the death penalty.
It's got me thinking about the actual usefulness of phone polls. I remember the results of one on TV, two weeks after the end of the Iraq war... FOX News was asking its listeners how the United States should deal with the Iranians.
Tehran - Is It Time For Talking ...Or TOMAHAWKING?
Don't Know 1%
Forget the idiocy - what kind of goggle-eyed, honking tool phones a 24-hour news channel to say they don't know what the answer is?
Still, The Sun drew 100,000 callers to their poll, so they must appreciate the chance to have their say. I'll leave it to you to assess the results on the merits.
But if they're polling their readership, why not go the whole hog and poll your readers on all their interests? We're talking premium rate lines, here.
Click to enlarge.
For a considered, well-argued bit of analysis on this, go read Obsolete, whose images I have shamelessly plundered.