Polls Part 2: This error is a good one

By · Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

not teaching,
still THINKING …

The margin of error is an important term that brings context to every poll and should be included in the reporting of every poll.

First, thank you to George Edmonson and Larry Dietrich, two fellow journalists. They both mentioned the all-important margin of error when they commented on our previous post about the difference between percent and percentage point in coverage of polls.

Now, a brief primer as explained in this piece by the Pew Research Center.

Keep in mind, too, the following details that also should be included in poll coverage to fully understand the results:

The Associated Press Stylebook offers an easy way for journalists to learn about and to brush up on the nuances of covering polls. And when journalists provide the many pertinent elements in their poll coverage, consumers also gain a better understanding of what it all means to them.

(These two profs are no longer teaching at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, but we are still thinking.)

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