One of the most important ingredients for success in politics, journalism, campaigns and advertising is to have a clear message. So, spare a thought for Carole Cadwalladr’s Observer investigation which appears to have failed this test over the weekend.
Over the past few months Cadwalladr has launched an investigation into alleged collusion and data misuse in the US election and the EU referendum. She claims that Cambridge Analytica has undisclosed links to the Canadian digital firm AggregateIQ that played a pivotal role in the official Vote Leave campaign. In this week’s Observer she runs a new instalment on AggregateIQ ‘the obscure Canadian tech firm’ used by Vote Leave and ‘the puzzle of the company’s links to Cambridge Analytica’:
Only it must be quite some puzzle. If you make it all the way to P50, the paper has ran a correction on two of Cadwalladr’s previous stories – clarifying that they did not intend to suggest in previous articles that ‘AIQ secretly and unethically co-ordinated with Cambridge Analytica on the EU referendum’:
Slipped out on the Observer's corrections page – the Wylie/Cadwalladr fantasy about Cambridge Analytica secretly coordinating with Vote Leave and AIQ crumbles pic.twitter.com/0ymg6FOMPK
— Hugh Bennett (@HughRBennett) April 1, 2018
If only they could have ran the clarification as far forward as the article…