Thursday, 12 August 2010

Election far from top of the public mind

As a long time print journalist I found it quite depressing the first time I sat behind the one way glass and watched a skilled researcher tease out of people their opinions (or quite often their lack of them) about politics and where they gained their information from. Rare it was to find a swinging voter who was influenced by anything they read in a newspaper. A quick glance at a headline anything to do with politics and the page was turned pronto. And as for party political advertisements they were an absolute no-no paid no attention at all.
I am not really surprised then to find that stories about who has promised what to whom in a day of election campaigning rarely feature in the list of most read items on newspaper websites. The great majority of Australians have other things on their mind that are of far more interest to them. Stories like these that were top of the lists at midnight last night:
Fairfax Sites
Brisbane Times - Woman drove 2km through busway before death
WA Today - Renters live the high life ... for now
Melbourne Age - Wild weather to hit Melbourne
Sydney Morning Herald - Raging flight attendant who made his own emergency exit appears in court
News Limited Sites - 'You've left your kids with a paedophile'
Adelaide Now - Model 'had sex with wrong football player'
Sydney Daily Telegraph - Bondage man dies in tree sex stunt
Melbourne Herald Sun - Bureau warns: brace for impact
Perth Now - First look at Cousins drug video
Brisbane Courier Mail - Wild weather on the way
The Australian - Labor struggling in key states
Other sites
NineMSN - Obese man sits on thief, accidently kills him
The West Australian - Passenger killed in Nannup crash
Only on the website of the national daily The Australian was a political story the most read. And what's more, none of the other sites even had a political story in their top five.
It's just a little something we should keep in mind as we try and evaluate the impact of the daily political events on voting intentions.
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