Hi. My name's Barry and I'm a Catholic.
Wanted to get that out of the way before I criticize how this poll story is written. I'm not even a recovering Catholic, but a go-to-Mass-every-Sunday Catholic, yet I can't let this poll story posted today on a Catholic site go untouched.
Okay, my religious butt covered, it's time for a little beat down of a fairly simple story from both a journalism and a public opinion perspective.
* The lede sucks. It's too long and it starts with the wrong info (According to ...). As I tell my reporting students, start with the WHAT. If it's a poll, lead with the results. And talk about vague. This is your lede, that "many Americans have very strong feelings about
illegal immigrants and immigration reform." Zzzzzzzzz.
* Learn the language of polling if you're gonna write a poll story. The third graph is terrible. "The precision of the Reuters/Ipsos online poll is measured using a
credibility interval. In this survey, the poll has a credibility
interval of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points." You mean margin of error. People get that. And you're not measuring credibility with this, but precision. Yeah, it matters.
* The last two graphs, what the hell are they doing in the story? Even if I sympathize with the point of view here, they don't belong. To quote Steve Smith, an unknown and unimportant presidential candidate from four years ago, is ridiculous.