More media bias

Today’s ProJo article on a marriage survey tries to taint the results with the following subtitle, “But some question the pollster’s methodology and challenge the results, which run counter to a previous survey’s findings.” (the sub title is not on the online article, only in print)

Reading between the lines, and knowing there are a total of 3 recent studies on this subject, tells us that the results were only “contrary” to one of those studies.

A survey paid for by Marriage Equity Rhode Island (MERI), an organization housed in the NEA building and supported in part with union donations, showed 39% opposed but does not report a margin of error. The NOM sponsored survey conducted at the Bureau of Government Research and Services at Rhode Island College report a 43% oppositions with a 4.9% margin of error, so these two results are not statistically different.

So that takes us to the study from Brown’s Taubman Center as the only one with different results. In other words, the sub title could have read, “results run counter to one of of two previous surveys.” Was that the impression you got from the ProJo sub title?

But there’s more…

Chris Plante, executive director at NOM, questioned the sampling method of the other surveys. NOM used a random dialing method but you had to get to the last two lines in the 3rdto last paragraph of the ProJo article to read, “The Taubman Center was unable to provide the demographics of its respondents. Marriage Equity did not return calls for comment.

Would a better sub title have been, “But some question the pollster’s methodology and challenge the results, which run counter to one out of two previous surveys, but those previous survey’s won’t divulge their sampling methods or demographics.”

OSPRI doesn’t have a dog in this fight other than our hope  that news outlets would be balanced and objective when looking at research. Let the facts speak for themselves – leave the advocacy to the Editorial page.

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