Monday, December 27, 2010

Le Monde's "Man of the Year": A more credible choice?

Several reports have sprouted that WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange was named "Man of the Year" by a French newspaper called Le Monde.
According to reports, the Australian whistle-blower won 56 percent of the votes. He was followed by Nobel Peace Prize winner and Chinese freedom fighter Liu Xiaobo who is serving an 11-year jail term. Liu was backed with 22 percent of the votes.
TIME Magazine's "Person of the Year" Mark Zuckerberg won 6.9 percent.
In conducting surveys, the results are sound when the methodology is reliable. This means to say that when all factors are treated equally and devoid of bias, the outcome of that survey reflects the correct answer--or choice--whatever you call it.
Available reports point that the person whom the French newspaper selected was reflective of their voters' choice.
This is in stark contrast with the famous American magazine, TIME, whose choice reflected only the choice of five panelists and disregarded the vote of more than 1.2 million subscribers.
It is not important whether which publication has a wider circulation, the most important thing is--from Statistics' point of view--the credibility and reliability of the choice. And that is very much dependent on the method used.
In this case, Le Monde showed a less biased choice. They followed the voters' choice.
The dictum is this: It is not who the choice was, it is how the choice was arrived at that makes the Person or Man of the Year a more credible choice.

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