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 Feature Story

BY JAKE BRUS

UI Foundation Representatives visit with Eric Nielsen of the Gallup Organization before the awards ceremony.
PHOTO BY DICK JOHNS
The polls are in and a winner has been chosen. The second annual Iowa Gallup Award was presented to The Washington Post for their series, "Being a Black Man," during a Nov. 8 ceremony held at the Gallup Organization's headquarters in Washington D.C.

The Post produced the winning series in conjunction with the Kaiser Foundation and Harvard University in June 2006, tackling the important issue of race in America. It explored how many black men felt trapped underneath the negative stereotypes of their race, instead of their individual positive achievements as black males. The questions represented many aspects of their lives, from work to dating and relationships.

Approximately 3,000 people, or both races and sexes, participated in the telephone polls. These polls posed questions about people's attitudes regarding their lives and personal feelings on their treatment and experiences in today's society. These were then compared to gauge how black men's attitudes differed from the rest of society.

Overall, the polls showed that indeed black men still felt the sting of discrimination.

The criteria for this award require accuracy, clear presentation of information, and that the story has implications for public conversation. UI Professor Lyombe Eko, a judge on the panel that chose the winner, elaborated on this. Eko said that when considering the applications, he looked for polls that added clarity to journalism which stood firm on it's own.

He went on to say that, "In the past there have been a lot of misgivings about polls and their misuse. Pollsters can interject political bias in the way they ask their questions. This project is aimed at ensuring that journalism isnŐt a poll driven enterprise."

This has been the second year that the award has been presented. Last year's award went to ABC News for their two-part broadcast series titled "Iraq and Afghanistan: Where Things Stand." The award was created in order to honor Iowa graduate George Gallup and his groundbreaking work with polls in the American news media.




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