More graphical propaganda

John Sides reproduces this graph showing Kenyan election results:

kenyaexitpoll.PNG

What a horrible graph! The re-coloring and re-ordering of the wedges makes the difference between “official results” and “poll” seem much greater than they are.

As in my earlier example of PDA (propaganda data analysis), I have no comments on the merits of the case (for example, what can you learn from a poll taken six months after the election)–I’m just weighing in on the graphical presentation.

3 thoughts on “More graphical propaganda

  1. I would be more impressed with a more obstruficated graph than the one presented that was also just as disarming on first glance.

  2. "what can you learn from a poll taken six months after the election"
    <p />
    rather than focus simply on the picture, it would have helped if you grasped the actual story – this was the release of the exit polling figures from the 2007 elections that were contracted by the IRI on behalf of the USG
    <p />
    the polling was not released at the time b/c it did not serve the purpose of preventing ODM from taking the presidency, which was an active program spearheaded by the USG
    <p />
    the IRI prevented the results from being published for six months, at which point the parties who conducted the polling were legally able to publish them
    <p />
    one other quibble – if propaganda can be understood as, quoting the late alex carey here, "communications where the form and content is selected with the single-minded purpose of bringing some target audience to adopt attitudes and beliefs chosen in advance by the sponsors of the communication", to what "attitudes and beliefs" would you characterize the purpose of the sloppy pie graph comparisons?
    <p />
    after all, you did title the post "more graphical propaganda"
    <p />
    my take, considering that the message communicated in the accompanying article confirms what was widely known at the time — even the pre-election polling indicated a sizable win by odinga's party — is that it was just a poor graphical choice
    <p />
    in addition to not comprehending the context, it's also obvious that other 'graphic analysts' currently fretting over the correct tool for the presentation ignore the pollsters' own margin of error figures

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