Policy Impact Award for “Where Things Stand”

May 15, 2010 10:00pm

Citing “a stellar example of high-impact public opinion polling at its finest,” the American Association for Public Opinion Research honored ABC News and its international media partners Saturday with AAPOR’s Policy Impact Award for a six-year series of national public opinion polls in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The “Where Things Stand” project “systematically monitored and described the contours of public opinion in the wake of the U.S.-led invasions of these two countries and the aftermath of U.S. and international involvement, thereby providing an essential element to public understanding of conditions there and helping to inform debate over U.S. and international policy," AAPOR’s citation said. “The widespread, important impact of these polls on public knowledge and discourse and the thinking, deliberations and decisions of policy makers throughout the world is both indisputable and profound.”

The polls – six in Iraq since 2004 and five in Afghanistan since 2005 – have “painted dramatic portraits of upheaval” in both countries, been “reported, analyzed and commented upon globally” and “have consistently and effectively informed the judgment of government leaders and foreign-policy analysts,” AAPOR said. It noted numerous references to the surveys by U.S. and international leaders and policy analysts, including a presidential address, testimony to Congress, parliamentary debates and a range of foreign-policy and general-interest publications.

ABC's media partners on the project have included the BBC, ARD German Television and NHK television in Japan, plus, on individual polls in the series, Time magazine, USA Today and the newsweekly Der Spiegel in Germany. The most recent poll was conducted in Afghanistan in December, with field work by ACSOR, the Afghan Center for Socio-Economic and Opinion Research.

ABC News has received six Emmy nominations and won two Emmy awards citing polls in the “Where Things Stand” series, as well as an Iowa-Gallup Award for Excellent Journalism Using Polls and an Excellence in Media Coverage of Polls Award from the National Council on Public Polls.

AAPOR is the leading professional organization of public opinion and survey research professionals in the United States, with members from academia, media, government, the non-profit sector and private industry. The Policy Impact Award was announced at its annual conference this week in Chicago.

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