A Journalist's Guide to Public Opinion Polls
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1994 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 171 pages
This straightforward text provides journalists, both professional and student, with an explanation of the realities of an increasingly important facet of today's precision journalism--public opinion polling. The work aims to provide the skills necessary for evaluating and interpreting survey results accurately. After a brief review of the historical relationship between the press and public opinion, the authors examine the polling environment today. Then, step-by-step, they take the reader through the basics of journalistic uses of public opinion surveys and the questions to be asked by the journalist in evaluating a survey: who did the poll; who sponsored the poll; what were the survey questions and how were they worded; what is the sampling error; how to report poll results; how to put survey figures in context; and how to make and evaluate projections based upon polls. In addition, the text offers a review of statistical methods for the journalist and a 20 question checklist.
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THE PRESS AND PUBLIC OPINION ALWAYS LINKED
A BRIEF HISTORY OF POLLS
THE EMERGENCE OF PRECISION JOURNALISM
THE PUBLIC OPINION POLLING ENVIRONMENT TODAY
THE POLL WHO DID IT?
THE POLL WHO SPONSORED IT?
THE POLL SAMPLING
PSEUDOPOLLS AND SLOPS
REPORTING POLLS THE BASICS
REPORTING POLLS NUMBERS IN CONTEXT
REPORTING POLLS POLITICAL SURVEYS
REPORTING POLLS EXIT POLLS AND PROJECTIONS
THE WORLDS SHORTEST COURSE IN STATISTICS
THE POLL THE QUESTIONS
THE POLL TIMING IS EVERYTHING
THE POLL SAMPLING ERROR
THE POLL OTHER SOURCES OF ERROR