|Our nonscientific poll is our tool to engage our readers|
|Written by Trista Steers MacVittie|
|Wednesday, 06 February 2013 13:21|
Public sentiment regarding contentious community issues is hard to gather or truly gauge.
Even when an item is put on an official ballot, whether the outcome actually represents the will of all residents can be argued because not all residents register to vote or participate in elections even if they’re registered.
Recently, our online poll become the object of concern when we asked what should be done about the collapsed dome at Barbara Antonsen Memorial Park. The four answers included to rebuild, abandon the project, build something different or study the situation further.
Sedona City Council will eventually vote on what to do at the site.
Our poll, an Internet poll, should not be used as evidence to support arguments for an issue due to obvious reasons associated with polling people on the Internet. It’s not scientific.
First of all, anyone can answer the poll.
People in Alaska, who’ve never been to Sedona, potentially could be voting, and we wouldn’t know.
Supporters of an issue can also easily rally their comrades to vote on their issue of passion when those people normally would not vote. People can also vote more than once by casting votes from a different computer.
Our poll is not intended to be used as a tool for council, or any other governing body, to rely upon when it comes time for governing bodies to vote.
The poll is our tool designed to help us engage readers in our coverage. We don’t use it in our stories as a source of fact because we understand the limitations of an Internet poll. Instead, we pursue comment and information from both sides to bring our readers the entire story and let them decide how they feel about an issue.
We encourage more of our readers to offer their opinions, whether its through our poll, a letter to the editor or a comment on our website, but discourage the use of reader-generated information as fact.
Visit our website at www.redrocknews.com to vote on the poll, and find the question and results on Page 2A of our newspaper.