Matt J. Duffy :: Thoughts on Journalism, Culture, and Global Communication

Thoughts On Journalism, Culture, and Global Communication
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Dr. Matt J. Duffy teaches journalism, media ethics and international communication law. His research focuses on journalism and media laws in the Middle East. Duffy's book "Media Laws of the United Arab Emirates" was published in 2014 by Wolters Kluwer. His academic work has been published in the Journal of Middle East Media, the Journal of Mass Media Ethics, and the Newspaper Research Journal. He received a Ph.D. in Public Communication from Georgia State University in the United States where he studied the use of unnamed sources in journalism. Duffy is board member of the Arab-United States Association for Communication Educators, an organization that aims to improve journalism in the Middle East. He teaches international communication law at Kennesaw State University.

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Bad poll

posted on October 20, 2005 at 10:39 am

Incredibly poor news judgment shown by the editors of the Wall Street Journal Online. This story‘s headline reads: “Poll Shows Strong Public Support For Range of Health Practices.” One of these health practices is a 75 percent support for universal health care, the message touted in the email alerting me to the poll.

But, the poll was conducted online — presumbably by computer users who chose to log on and answer the questions. By no means does this represent a statistically representative sample of the “public.” (Very little detail was given regarding the collection of the poll, but online surveys as a rule can’t be called representative because no attempt at getting a cross-section of the public is made.)

The fact that the editors chose to make this into a news story either shows (a) their bias in favor of universal health care or (b) their illiteracy in reading polling data. At the very least, the story should point out that the poll isn’t representative. And the headline shouldn’t have the word “public” in it.

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