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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 25, 2009

ABC News blog wins Iowa Gallup Award for Excellent Journalism Using Polls

ABC News is the recipient of the 2008 Iowa Gallup Award for Excellent Journalism Using Polls. The annual award is presented by the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication and The Gallup Organization.

The award-winning entry, "The Numbers," is an ongoing blog ( addressing public opinion polling. "The Numbers" in 2008 marshaled current and historical polling data from a wide range of sources, focusing chiefly on the presidential election, but also describing political and social trends, testing conventional wisdom and exploring a range of issues in survey research in concise, yet thorough summaries.

Beyond politics and the election, the blog's more than 150 entries covered subjects ranging from economic discontent to gun control, women in the workforce, the war in Iraq, polling methodology and more. ABC News Director of Polling Gary Langer writes "The Numbers."

"ABC News's 'The Numbers' provided an exemplary public service with its illuminating reports on polling results," said Jim Clifton, chairman and CEO of Gallup. "Important issues throughout the historic election year were meticulously investigated and clearly explained to their broad audience in articles that highlighted the value of polling when it was well executed and chastised practitioners when it was not."

The Iowa Gallup Award is a joint endeavor to honor pioneering pollster George H. Gallup (photo, left), an Iowa native who earned three degrees from the UI, was an instructor with the School of Journalism, and founded Quill and Scroll, an international honorary society for high school journalists. Quill and Scroll, with more than 14,400 chapters, has kept its ties with the university and has offices in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Gallup developed many of his public opinion research methodologies and theories while at the UI.

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.

David D. Perlmutter, director of the UI School of Journalism and Mass Communication, thanked the judges who reviewed the entries.

"A panel of judges with expertise in polls, journalism and academia took on the task of rating and scoring the stories on the basis of creativity, writing style and impact," Perlmutter said. "We appreciate their involvement. We feel that the Iowa Gallup Award is the highest honor bestowed in the news polling world."

As the recipient of the Iowa Gallup Award, ABC News will receive a $2,500 stipend, a specially made medallion, and be honored at a presentation Nov. 11 at the Gallup World Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

ABC News won the inaugural Iowa Gallup Award in 2005 for its "Iraq: Where Things Stand" and "Afghanistan: Where Things Stand" broadcasts, both based on ABC's national public opinion polls in those countries.

Last year, The Des Moines Register received the Iowa Gallup Award for "The Iowa Caucuses."

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: The deadline for 2009 entries will be announced in January.

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication is in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Vanessa Shelton, UI School of Journalism and Mass Communication,, 319-335-3321; Nicole Riehl, University News Services, 319-384-0070,