On the Media

with Brooke Gladstone

WNYC’s weekly investigation into how the media shapes our worldview. 


Chicken or Egg: A Collaboration from On the Media + FiveThirtyEight

Yes, polls are stupid (at this stage of the election). But as Nate Silver, famed poll-cruncher and editor-in-chief of the data news site FiveThirtyEight has observed, polls -- no matter how unscientific -- do fuel media narratives. And those narratives can affect voters, and thus influence polls. It's a question of which comes first: the media egg or the chicken poll.

To find the answer to the question, On the Media and FiveThirtyEight are working together this election season to track the push and pull between polling, media coverage, and public interest in 2016 candidates.

Watch this space for our series of data-driven conversations and commentary. 

You can find FiveThirtyEight's election coverage here and their podcasts here.

  • The Polling Conspiracy

    Oct 28, 2016
    The Trump camp claims that polls are rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton. Our friends at FiveThirtyEight explain why that theory misunderstands how polling works. 
  • Nate Silver on 2016: The Sky Is Orange

    Mar 4, 2016
    FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver crunched the numbers and found Trump's success was extremely unlikely. He wasn't wrong, and yet here we are. So why is this election so unpredictable?
  • FiveThirtyEight Explains Super Tuesday

    Mar 1, 2016
    Primary voters in twelve states (and American Samoa) head to the polls, and media expectations are high. The experts at FiveThirtyEight decode how the candidates can meet them.
  • Howard Dean's Scream, Revisited

    Feb 5, 2016
    A "Dean Scream" is shorthand for a campaign disaster. But did Howard Dean's 2004 shriek even happen the way it's remembered? And did it really doom him? FiveThirtyEight investigates.
  • When Polls Obscure The Truth

    Dec 4, 2015
    Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight explains why Donald Trump's position in the polls isn't everything he makes it out to be, and how polls can also obscure the truth.
  • Chicken or Egg? Media Pull Versus Push

    Oct 30, 2015
    Do candidates get more coverage because they're polling well, or do they poll well because they get more coverage? We're teaming up with FiveThirtyEight to search for an answer.