Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How To Report a SLOP

I hate SLOPs, as regular readers know, those self-selected opinion polls. But sometimes I come across someone who, while using such a device, actually do it right. Here's an example, and below I include the opening graphs.
Business Journal readers have given new Oregon Gov. Kate Brown a little bit of support as she completes her first week on the job.

However, more respondents to a non-scientific poll asking whether Brown "will be good for Oregon" either don't think she'll do right by the state or simply don't know much about her.

See how right off in the lede "...readers have given..."? That's good. Makes it clear that we're not talking about a random sample generalizable to the public at large. No, it's readers. And in the second graf, even more important, is "...a non-scientific poll...". Again, good. Makes it clear this is not a real poll.

So, while I hate SLOPs, points here for making it clear to the reader that this isn't a traditional, scientific poll. Now if only other journalists would get the message.  

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