To some of us it seems like only yesterday that we gathered in
In effect, this build up and our contributions began some time ago,
including the launch in September 2007 of the first course in our joint
venture with the Poynter Institute’s NewsU, a free,
online course on “Understanding and Interpreting Polls,”
designed to help journalists (and other consumers of surveys and polls)
gain a better understanding of how polls were conducted, what to look
for in the methodology and how to determine the legitimacy of a
poll. Roll out of various sections of this course continued up
through our conference in
Speaking of reporters, as many of you know better than I (and typically had already talked with same), there were as usual a broad range of questions, including several on “push polls,” for which there are a growing number of “watchdogs” and “aficionados,” but also a consistent barrage of questions on cell phones, the so-called “Bradley effect” and substantial interest in “poll consolidators” or “polls aggregators,” such as RealClearPolitics.com, FiveThirtyEight.com and Pollster.com. Regardless, the questions on November 5th were all about how we felt that the polls performed, for which the obvious answer was “quite well.” I think most of us — and even our critics — would agree that in this election the consistency and accuracy of our methodologies was borne out well, which, while hardly grounds for complacency, at least merits a sigh of relief! I am confident we can count on seeing all of these questions and issues addressed in our annual conference this year.
I had also noted at our business meeting in
We also established a Special Committee (chaired by Scott Keeter) to Evaluate AAPOR’s Association Management Needs and continued from last year a Strategic Marketing Committee, chaired by Floyd Ciruli, to review and make recommendations to our standing committees — especially conference, membership and communications — on how we might better incorporate marketing and development principles into their activities.
After considerable review and reflection on progress, proposals and plans by the Executive Council, in collaboration with the founding editors, Survey Practice, our new online publication, was launched at the end of August, with five issues published by mid-December. And, building on the great interest and success achieved by our Cell Phone Task Force last year, in September we established an Online Panel Task Force to bring more systematic and rigorous review, analysis and recommendations to this emerging component of our profession.
Under the leadership of Vince Price and Michael Link, the theme of the upcoming conference is “Public Choices in Changing Times,” which today seems even more prophetic than when it was conceived. There also will be significant changes in many other features of the conference, which we tell you more about in the next newsletter. In brief, the entire Executive Council — and many other committee members and volunteers — are hard at work on your behalf. In brief, the entire Executive Council—and many other committee members and volunteers--are hard at work on your behalf.
If, as your current president, I can be of any assistance to you in the coming months, please do not hesitate to contact me.
For now, let me wish all of you very happy, healthy and productive 2009