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ERIC Number: ED310391
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Aug
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Down to the Wire: How Six Newspapers Reported Public Opinion Polls during the 1988 Presidential Campaign.
Sanders, Luther W.; And Others
A study analyzed the quality of reporting of public opinion polls in six selected newspapers during the final 65 days of the 1988 presidential campaign. The eight disclosure standards used were based upon the latest version of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) code of Professional Ethics and Practices. The newspapers selected for this study were: the Arkansas Gazette, The Atlanta Constitution, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and The Washington Post. A total of 156 reports on polls were discovered in the 6 newspapers. The numbers ranged from a high of 48 poll reports in USA Today to only 9 in the Chicago Tribune. The newspapers reported sponsor (81%), sample size (57%), and population sampled (54%) more often than other disclosure standards. Timing was reported in 45% of the items, and method of contacting respondents was reported in 29%. The lowest disclosure rates were for sampling error (10%), response rate (6%) and wording (4%). Seldom did a report on a poll appear on an opinion page: 97% appeared on news pages; 31% appeared on page one. The 156 items concerning polls that were discovered in the newspapers' 372 issues over the 65-day period provide an overall average of a poll report in 42% of the issues. Findings suggest that news judgment should go beyond determining interest and importance; it should also include a determination of the legitimacy of the information. (Twenty-nine endnotes and eight tables of data are included.) (MG)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A