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University of Iowa News

May 31, 2006

ABC News Wins First Iowa Gallup Award For Excellent Journalism Using Polls

The University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication and The Gallup Organization have named ABC News the recipient of their inaugural annual award recognizing excellent journalism using polls.

The award-winning, two-part series, "ABC News polls in Iraq and Afghanistan," aired in December 2005 on Good Morning America, World News Tonight and Nightline.

"The ABC News entry certainly shows how using accurate polls, as a basis of understanding public opinion, can contribute to vital stories that truly make a difference in our world," said Jim Clifton, chairman and CEO of The Gallup Organization. "We were pleased with the high caliber of all entries for this award."

The Iowa Gallup Award 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 and Scroll, an international honorary society for high school journalists. Quill and Scroll, with 14,104 chapters, has kept its ties with the university and has offices in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The award recognizes 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 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.

Pam Creedon, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, thanked the judges for sharing their expertise as they reviewed the entries.

"We were fortunate to have the benefit of a qualified panel of judges in the areas of polls, journalism and academia," she said. "Their task was to rate and score the stories on the basis of creativity, writing style and impact."

As the recipient of the Iowa Gallup Award, ABC News will receive a $2,500 stipend and be honored at a presentation planned for this fall at Gallup World Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Award-winning stories must be accurate in analyzing and interpreting data, have clarity of presentation and have implications for public discourse. Complete details of the judging criteria, including the requirements, and an entry form can be found at the award Web site: http://www.uiowa.edu/jmc/GallupAward. Deadline for 2006 entries will be announced this fall.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Kim Merchant, University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass  Communication, kimberly-merchant@uiowa.edu