January 16, 2021

Spanish experts defend polls in support of democracy and journalism

Spanish experts defend polls in support of democracy and journalism



Participants in a forum on polls and public opinion held today in the Electoral Tribunal of Panama (TE), defended the polls as support for democracy and journalism, and censored any attempt to promote an "information blackout" to prevent its dissemination .

This was expressed by two journalists and a Spanish sociologist survey experts, Juan Fernández Miranda, Álvaro Nieto and Narciso Michavila, respectively, in a colloquium in which data journalism was also discussed, organized by the Center for Democratic Studies (CED) of the TE and the Arekuna Forum of Spain.

Fernandez, editor-in-chief of the newspaper ABC of Spain, said in his speech that the polls "are essential tools for the consolidation of full democracies" and the exercise of the right to vote.

He affirmed that he does not conceive the political journalism that he exerts from the ABC newspaper without the polls.

"Therefore, I can only criticize any temptation from the power to promote an information blackout, for example, with the publication of surveys," said Fernandez, who also referred to the limits or closures that exist for the disclosure of these measurements of the intention to vote.

Fernandez stressed that with the advances in information technology and social networks "the last thing to do is propitiate informational blackouts and put limits on information".

Narciso Michavila, a sociologist and international specialist in electoral analysis, told Efe that the polls "is not an invention of sociologists or statistical (institutes), it is an invention of journalists" and the media, as he argued in his conference "Without surveys there is no democracy".

The Spanish sociologist warned that currently there is a problem that is that "instead of improving the conditions to hit (in the measurements) and allow them to be published until the last minute the surveys, what is being done" is to put each more obstacles ".

He explained that if in the last weeks or the last 10 days, which is when more intentions of votes are decided, you can not publish surveys, it will be increasingly difficult for the polls to correct ".

"So, if the solution to the situation that has ever failed a survey is to expand the ban to publish, in the end we will be without surveys, we will be without journalism and we will be without democracy," said Michavila.

For his part, Álvaro Nieto, international journalist and exredactor chief of the Barometer of the newspaper El País of Spain, told Efe that the information extracted from the surveys "is very useful and it is very valuable to know it, and that they contribute on what they think at every moment the citizens of a country. "

For this reason, Nieto considers it "absurd to omit this information from citizens before a globalized world in which the survey data can reach from other countries through social networks".

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