"The last time we made an error as big as this was about 32 years ago..."

We apologise A graceful Prannoy Roy admits on air NDTV Bihar election data was wrongImage source: Prannoy Roy/Twitter
Flix Monday, November 09, 2015 - 08:47

Results to the Bihar Assembly polls, which were announced on Sunday, was a high pitched battle in itself.

As media houses reported different trends, many of which were contradictory, many viewers complained about how confusing the numbers released by television channels were.

However, NDTV in particular drew severe flak for not just getting its exit polls wrong, but also for the initial trends it aired- showing that the NDA-led alliance was leading- both of which were different from what most other channels had to say.

Prannoy Roy, Executive Co-Chairperson of NDTV, on Sunday evening made a graceful apology on air, stating that the last time the channel made such a "big error" was three decades ago when NT Rama Rao won by a landslide.

Here is what Roy said.

Let me start with an explanation and an apology. Now, for over more than 30 years, NDTV has tried to be the hallmark of election news and analysis.

With exit polls and opinion polls, we always made the point – even when we get it spot on – that there are statistical errors that shouldn't make them be taken too seriously. You get it right, you get it wrong sometimes – that's the life of a pollster.

Thisyear, for example, all across the world, polls have had a very bad year. Greece – they got it wrong, United Kingdom - they got it wrong, Turkey - they've got it wrong. And in the last US presidential elections, the great Gallup Poll got it wrong.

The last time we made an error as big as this was about 32 years ago when NT Rama Rao won with a landslide. Since then we've never made such a big - we've made errors - but not as big as this one.

This time, like before, we tried our best with a large sample size and we went to every single constituency - which meant we didn't have to convert votes into seats. The sample, the poll was just taken directly. But the data from the fieldwork agency, normally a very reliable agency, was incorrect and this happens. And we are looking into why this went wrong. In any case, we take responsibility and we sincerelyapologize.

Secondly, on every Counting Day, like today, all news channels get data from one agency. Again, a very globally respected agency. This morning, the first data that came in to all news channels was completely wrong. Our trend analysis was based on this data like it has been for 35 years - it's never been wrong so far.

We showed the BJP ahead - that's what the data showed. The data, unfortunately, turned out to be incorrect. All news channels had to change their data half-way. Now, this has never happened before. And we've asked the agency for an explanation and we've heard from them that they are going to write and explain what went wrong once they look into theerrors.

So we apologize to you, our viewers, for the confusion that was caused. For NDTV, and for me, our aim is always to try to bring you the most objective and accurate news as quickly as possible. So, thank you for trusting us and staying with us.

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