In 'ONE' paragraph, describe 'Use of official statistics' as a research method used by the media to investigate their stories, articles, programmes?
Official Statistics are published for the common use of the public by the government and the agencies who issue the information. Surely it is the right of the media to use the information to make their reporting sound more accurately, but they should also use other qualitative resources aside from the quantitative statistical numbers. The reason for this is that if the statistics are taken as the primary source without verifying a secondary source, the information cannot be correlated to a trend and would turn out unnecessary. The secondary source would be used to interpret the statistics of the primary source. Having this would be the ideal thing for the media to do to not just through facts in the air, but also to educate the public on why things happen the way they do.
Many critics of the media argue that the use of official statistics and official statements is one of the things that cause the media to be unreliable as "watchdogs" of the government.
The argument here is that the media use official statistics uncritically. People who think this say that the media just take the statistics they are given and use them. This lets the official point of view dominate news accounts and does not give other points of view an equal opportunity to be heard.
Also, media members come to depend on official sources for their news and will not want to anger them by investigating them closely.