In public relations, and journalism, a survey can mean pretty much anything you want it to.
Bernard Keane has drawn our attention to a classic example this morning.
— Bernard Keane (@BernardKeane) January 28, 2013
First few paragraphs from the SMH story:
ABOUT half of Australian companies have either seen little impact from the introduction of the carbon tax on their energy costs or are yet to calculate the effects, according to surveys by the Australian Industry Group.
About 49 per cent of businesses in the manufacturing, construction and services sectors reported an immediate increase in prices of at least some of their inputs after the introduction of the carbon price on July 1, the AiGroup report found.
A follow-up survey of 485 businesses in November, however, found that a third of manufacturers and construction firms and as many as one half of service sector respondents ''did not yet have enough information'' to gauge the impact of the new tax.
Businesses estimate energy costs have increased by an average of 14.5 per cent because of the carbon levy. Some of that estimate, though, may be because firms incorrectly blamed the tax for wider increases in power bills, such as for new poles and wires.Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-economy/business-counting-carbon-tax-20130128-2dgw6.html#ixzz2JJDsI8sp
First few paragraph from the AFR story:
The Gillard government’s carbon tax has driven up energy costs by 14.5 per cent in its first six months, a business survey says, reigniting debate about whether the impost is doing more damage to the economy than intended.
A survey of 485 businesses, released today by the Australian Industry Group, shows the estimated impact of the tax has been similar across the manufacturing, services and building sectors.
But once the federal government’s assistance to so-called trade-exposed industries is factored into the cost, Ai Group’s research suggests the impact falls unevenly across businesses.
Food manufacturers have been particularly hard hit, with 90 per cent reporting immediate increases in costs and only 10 per cent of those expect to be able to pass that on to customers.
An example of editorial independence and media diversity?
Probably not. The SMH readership is more likely to favour a carbon tax, the AFR audience less likely.
It's more a question of giving your audience what they want.
Sometimes known as 'spin'.