I have to admit that the perceived value of – and financial justification for – a superficial poll recently carried out on behalf of the BBC World Service escapes this writer completely. Nevertheless, the BBC saw fit to promote its results on the BBC News website as though they were of some significance.
Visitors to the UK page of the website could ponder the question “Why has the UK gone up in people’s estimations?“ and those reading the Europe or Middle East pages would learn that “Germany most popular country in the world“. Except the headline writer got it wrong: those polled were not asked which country they liked best, but whether they perceived a country’s “influence in the world” as being generally positive or negative.
Neither of those articles bothers readers too much with the survey’s methodology. To learn more about that, we have…
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