By asking these 20 questions, the journalist can seek the facts to decide how to report any poll that comes across the news desk.
The authors wish to thank the officers, trustees and members of the National Council on Public Polls for their editing assistance and their support.
- Who did the poll?
- Who paid for the poll and why was it done?
- How many people were interviewed for the survey?
- How were those people chosen?
- What area (nation, state, or region) or what group (teachers,lawyers, Democratic voters, etc.) were these people chosen from?
- Are the results based on the answers of all the people interviewed?
- Who should have been interviewed and was not? Or do response rates matter?
- When was the poll done?
- How were the interviews conducted?
- What about polls on the Internet or World Wide Web?
- What is the sampling error for the poll results?
- Who’s on first?
- What other kinds of factors can skew poll results?
- What questions were asked?
- In what order were the questions asked?
- What about "push polls?"
- What other polls have been done on this topic? Do they say the same thing? If they are different, why are they different?
- What about exit polls?
- What else needs to be included in the report of the poll?
- So I've asked all the questions. The answers sound good. Should we report the results?