Press freedom 1 — right to know 0

Politico Europe’s Ryan Heath catching loads of flak for this morning’s list of the 40 most influential politicians in the European Parliament. What people want to know is not “How come you didn’t include my guy?”, but “How the fuck did you come up with this lot?”. In other words, various European political scientists, journalists and regular laymen like myself would like to be told is what methodology he used to come up with this definitive rundown.

The exchange below is typical of the various attempts I came across to understand whether Heath drew the names out of a hat, applied a statistical model to 711 parliamentarians’ attendance and voting records, or merely made a practical career decision as to who would best respond with some insider prattle to a bit of brown-nosing.

Quite clearly, in post-reality journalism freedom of the press trumps the right to know.

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