By Peter Ward November 11, 2016
Trump Victory Puts Heat on Media
Following Donald Trump’s upset victory in the U.S. presidential race this week, the media has come under fire for failing to understand Trump’s appeal to so many American voters. An article published in the New York Times on Wednesday called out data journalism in particular as having failed to properly report Trump’s rise, instead relying on polls that asserted Hillary Clinton would win with ease.
“All the dazzling technology, the big data and the sophisticated modeling that American newsrooms bring to the fundamentally human endeavor of presidential politics could not save American journalism from yet again being behind the story, behind the rest of the country,” Jim Rutenberg’s column reads.
Rutenberg writes that journalists failed to question polling data because it confirmed their own gut feelings: that Trump would not be able to pull off an election to the presidency of the United States. The New York Times’ own Upshot prediction on early Tuesday evening was that Clinton was an 84% favorite to win the election. By 10:30 p.m. the projection had swung to 93% in favor of Trump.
Rutenberg argues that data alone should not be used to measure the pulse of America’s politics, and that reporters focused too much on who would win and who would lose rather than exploring the forces that were driving Trump’s campaign in greater detail.
For journalists covering Washington, their jobs are not about to get any easier. The President elect has threatened to loosen libel laws to make it easier to sue the press. He has frequently accused the media of lying, of being a surrogate of Hillary Clinton, and has already denied reporters the access to a president elect that they have historically been afforded. He refused to let journalists travel with him to cover his first meeting with President Barack Obama.
Much of America, a country divided, will be looking to rebuild after Tuesday’s result. The media too is in for some real soul searching.
Minimum Wage Increased
Beyond choosing a future president, voters in several states also decided on marijuana laws and minimum wages. Bloomberg published a data interactive that sets down exactly how these votes went.
Four states voted to raise the minimum wage. Washington, Arizona, Colorado and Maine all voted to raise wages to $12 or higher by 2020. In South Dakota, voters rejected a proposal to lower the minimum wage for minors from $8.55 to $7.50. Washington will raise the minimum wage to $13.50 by 2020 and require employers to provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked.
Four states – California, Maine, Nevada and Massachusetts – voted to legalize recreational marijuana, while Arizona rejected the proposition. Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas all voted to legalize medical marijuana. Bloomberg presents each set of results on a map, and the marijuana graphic highlights which states already have laws in place.
Three states also voted to make it more difficult to buy guns and ammunition. California, Nevada and Washington all passed some sort of gun restriction measures, but Maine rejected a proposal for more background checks.
Stock Market Indices Rise on Trump Victory
U.S. stock markets did not suffer the meltdown many predicted this week, following Donald Trump’s election victory. At the closing bell on Wednesday, the day after the election, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all posted gains.
Futures markets the night of the election had suggested huge drops associated with a Trump win, but Trump’s victory speech, which for once didn’t include any discriminatory remarks or outlandish claims and instead called for unity in the U.S., eased some of Wall Street’s fears of immediate upheaval. U.S. stock futures fell 5% overnight, the most they can before trading is restricted.
U.S. drug companies enjoyed some of the biggest gains, as Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton had pledged to stop pharmaceutical companies from hiking drug prices. America’s biggest private prison operator also enjoyed a boost, with shares rising by more than a third. It is thought Trump would reverse the decision to phase out use of private companies in prisons.
One industry did see a dive in share prices, however. The two largest gun companies in the U.S. fell more than 10% on Wednesday morning. Investors had expected a surge of gun sales driven by reforms proposed by Hillary Clinton, given that calls for heightened gun control are often accompanied by increased purchases. Trump has proposed no such controls.
Oklahoma’s Earthquake Problem
The day after the election of Donald Trump, many were keen to point out that the world would continue spinning. But in Oklahoma, entirely unrelated to the election, the world keeps shaking.
Last Sunday a 5.0 magnitude earthquake hit Cushing, Oklahoma, within a mile of North America’s largest crude trading hub. A feature in Businessweek suggests the number of earthquakes in the state has risen dramatically due to fracking.
“Last year, Oklahoma experienced more than 1,000 earthquakes measuring at least 3.0 in magnitude; that’s up from fewer than two in 2008. The state is now the most seismically active in the continental U.S. Seismologists believe the quakes there are the result of wastewater injection wells used by the oil and gas industry,” the article states.
The volumes of fracking wastewater disposed in Oklahoma increased by 81% between 2009 and 2014, and this water is causing the spike in earthquakes, according to seismologists.
Oklahoma acknowledged the link between wastewater disposal and earthquakes in 2015, and imposed restrictions to cut the amount of wastewater injected underground that year.
Since the restrictions, Oklahoma has gone from averaging more than four earthquakes a day to around two per day. However, the latest large earthquake shows that more must be done to regulate the industry, even though oil and gas accounts for a quarter of all jobs in the state.
This Week’s Top Headlines
Dow hits record high as markets ride on Trump win – Yashaswini Swamynathan, Reuters
Court Upholds Decision to Ban LinkedIn in Russia – Olga Razumovskaya, Laura Mills, Wall Street Journal
Dakota pipeline operator to defy Obama and push on with final phase of drilling – Julia Carrie Wong, Sam Levin, The Guardian
Macy’s may redevelop another 50 stores – Nathan Bomey, USA Today
Obamacare’s future in critical condition after Trump’s victory – Amy Goldstein, Washington Post
Trump Victory Could Prompt Fed to Raise Rates More Quickly – Binyamin Applebaum, The New York Times
Silicon Valley investors call for California to secede from the US after Trump win – Olivia Solon, The Guardian
The World’s Richest People Lose $41 Billion on Trump’s Win – Robert Olsen, Jack Witzig, Bloomberg News
Comments are closed.