Poligraft

13 Mar

By: Gabriela Gonzalez

Analysis of tool: This tool is very interesting. I like how it highlights keywords and names. On the side it gives a breakdown of the items highlighted, and if you click on the link, it takes you to more detailed information. It is interactive in that you can hover the mouse over a pie graph and it gives even more information than what is simply on the page. For example, hovering over a pie graph may not only reveal percentages but also, more specifically, dollar amounts.  It is interesting to think of who is giving to whom as far as contributions are concerned. This impacts how contributors and influential organizations present information, and knowing this information can help the readers take the information with the skepticism they need to achieve a “mental balance” of the information, so they can form their own opinion.

Link:  http://poligraft.com/GH4c

The article I submitted through Poligraft was from Washington D.C. It is about the “shift” of emphasis for the GOP campaigning in the South. Key points are that Mitt Romney, 458, has double the delegates of that of Rick Santorum, 203. To secure a nomination against Barak Obama, the GOP candidate needs 1,144 delegates. The piece also mentions that southern comedian Jeff Foxworthy will be campaigning for Romney.

Newt Gingrich, who currently has 66 delegates, is hoping to win Alabama and Mississippi.

According to CNN: “An American Research Group survey last week of likely Republican primary voters in Mississippi showed Gingrich with 35 percent support to 31 percent for Romney, 20 percent for Santorum and 7 percent for Paul. The poll’s four percentage-point sampling error meant Gingrich and Romney were in a statistical tie.”

The Poligraft report was interesting in that it showed what certain groups who contributed to the article have donated to PACs. For example,  according to Poligraft, NBC Universal donated $5,500 to the Rick Santorum campaign. CBS Corp. donated $83,344 to Barak Obama’s campaign. Through this list of information we can see the political leanings of the quoted sources and have a more in-depth look at why they asked certain questions or gave certain quotes.

For example, Gingrich sounds less sure about his Alabama-Mississippi victory on CBS than he did on Fox. CBS Corp., as stated above, was a major donator to the Obama campaign and it aggregated $501 to Ron Paul’s campaign. If you click on the link, it shows the top recipients for CBS Corp. and those lobbying on the company’s behalf.

Poligraft also gives “Points of Influence,” and it shows the party of the candidates that received what percent of contributions. Through this, the reader can see that Obama receives more contributions from individuals, while Gingrich receives a quarter of his contributions from PACs. Also, one can see what the types of people are the ones that most frequently contribute to certain campaigns. For Obama it’s lawyers and lobbyists, for Paul it’s people involved in finance, business and real estate.

Poligraft is a tool that helps reveal underlying influences in articles and news. In the end, it serves to prove what we already know: What is truly objective?

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