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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 17, 2006

UI, Gallup Launch New Journalism Award Recognizing Poll Use

The University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication, in collaboration with The Gallup Organization, has created a new award that will recognize annually excellent media stories using polls.

The Iowa Gallup Award for Excellent Journalism Using Polls (http://www.uiowa.edu/jmc/GallupAward) is a joint endeavor to honor George H. Gallup, an Iowa native who earned three degrees from the UI, was an instructor with the School of Journalism and founded the Quill & Scroll, an international honorary society for high school journalists. Quill & Scroll, with 14,104 chapters, has kept its ties with the University and has offices in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The Inaugural Iowa Gallup Award for Excellent Journalism Using Polls will be selected this spring from among nominees provided by those in the fields of journalism and professional polling. The call for entries is open until March 15, 2006. To be eligible for the award, stories must be an original story published, broadcast or placed on-line between Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2005.

The recipient of the award will be announced in April. The Iowa Gallup Award and a stipend of $2,500 will be presented at a ceremony at The Gallup Organization in May.

"Too often reporting today is based on rhetoric and journalists' perceptions of the voice of the people," said Jim Clifton, chairman and CEO of The Gallup Organization. "It is our hope that this award will help to promote the accurate reporting of the people's opinion and beneficially add it to the public debate."

This annual award will recognize the importance of the news media's use of polls in understanding public opinion and shaping discourse on social and political issues. Journalists' accurate, creative and intelligent analysis of polling data can add depth and dimension to their reporting, as well as enhance the quality of public debate. The Iowa Gallup Award is designed to reward news media stories that feature such analysis and thus promote the best use and presentation of polls and data in journalism and media.

An illustrious panel of judges noted for their high standards in polling and journalism will rate the stories on the basis of creativity, writing style and impact. The judges for the 2005 Inaugural Award are: 

* Stephen Berry -- Professor, UI School of Journalism and Mass Communication

* Karen Brown Dunlap -- President and Managing Director, The Poynter Institute

* Alec M. Gallup --  Chairman, The Gallup Poll

* Gary Langer -- Director of Polling, ABC News

* Paul Lavrakas -- Vice President and Senior Research Methodologist, Nielsen Media Research

"Gallup and Iowa have been linked for more than a century," said Pam Creedon, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. "Born in Iowa in 1901, George Gallup earned his bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees from The University of Iowa. His Ph.D. dissertation, 'An Objective Method for Determining Reader Interest in the Content of a Newspaper,' helped to create the science that we seek to honor with this award."

Stories selected for the award must accurately analyze and interpret data, have clarity of presentation, and, considering the importance of the story, have implications for public discourse. Complete details of the judging criteria, including the minimal requirements, and an entry form can be found at the award web site http://www.uiowa.edu/jmc/GallupAward

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007, stephen-pradarelli@uiowa.edu; Program: Kim Merchant, kimberly-merchant@uiowa.edu