I’ve written a couple of posts about the questionable research and data collection methodologies of the notoriously right-wing Fraser Institute. But today I have to take my hat off to the researchers over at Press Progress, who discovered that the Institute was collecting data for its annual “survey of mining companies” through an online survey that was open to anyone. Yes, anyone who visited the Institute’s website – regardless of how much or how little they knew about mining – could participate. You can read about the fun that Press Progress had filling out the survey here.
To give credit to the Institute, though, someone there is apparently paying attention to the incoming data. Because not too long after Press Progress completed the survey and published its post, the survey’s site on the Institute website was closed down. I’m guessing that even if Press Progress did provide its name and address, it won’t be winning the $1,000 prize for taking part in the survey.
Sadly, unlike Press Progress, most media outlets blindly report information from the Fraser Institute’s studies without verifying the data or questioning the outcomes – as you can see from these examples here, and here, and here. And this little event, as funny as it is, is just one more sobering example of why that kind of uncritical reporting is a huge problem.