Special Media Invitation - The Power of the Polls: Do They Lead or Follow Events?

    Canadian Journalism Foundation hosts panel discussion on November 6 in

    TORONTO, Oct. 30 /CNW/ - The Canadian Journalism Foundation will host a
panel discussion on November 6 at the MaRS Centre in Toronto titled "The Power
of the Polls: Do They Lead or Follow Events?"

    Event Description:

    With federal elections in both countries, Canadians and Americans have
been exposed to more political polling this fall than ever before in our
history. The proliferating polls - daily, nightly and rolling; by phone and by
internet - dominated a great deal of the media coverage of the two elections.
Poll results provided such an inexhaustible supply of news stories and fodder
for commentaries, candidates and their platforms seemed to disappear at times
in the blizzard (or fog) of polling coverage.
    Polls play an important role in our democratic elections. They help
political parties by focusing their attention on issues the public deems
important. They also help journalists by providing a reliable source of data
that can serve as the basis for accurate, informative news stories. However,
some would argue that polls which solely report on the parties' standings -
and the media outlets that promote such polls - do nothing to assist voters to
make informed decisions about issues and candidates.
    Many polls prove to be quite accurate within their margins of error, but
others do not. It can be argued that bad polling drives out good reporting.
    Do "horse race" polls unduly influence voters' decisions? What
responsibility do the media have in broadcasting poll results? In the wake of
both the Canadian and U.S. elections, our expert panel discusses the effect
opinion polls may or may not have had on the outcomes, and the role of the
media in elections and democracy.

    -   Darrell Bricker, Chief Executive Officer for Ipsos Global Public
    -   Barry Kay, associate professor in the political science department at
        Wilfrid Laurier University;
    -   Geoff Stevens, journalist and political columnist for the Record in
        Kitchener-Waterloo and the Mercury in Guelph;
    -   John Honderich, former Toronto Star editor and publisher (moderator).

    WHERE: The MaRS Centre, Collaboration Room 3
           101 College St., Toronto
           For a map and directions:

    WHEN:  Thursday, November 6, 2008. Presentation 6:30-8:00, Reception

    There is no cost to attend the event but guests wishing to attend must
RSVP to: programs@cjf-fjc.ca

For further information:

For further information: Heather McCall, Programs Manager, CJF, (416)
955-0630, hmccall@cjf-fjc.ca

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