October 30, 2005

It Ain't Neccessarily So Chapters 6-7

"But the answers are sometimes determined (and always influenced) by the questions--the exact wording of the questions posed by the interviews, the order in which the questiond are asked, and in some cases even the way in which they are asked (in person or via the telephone)."

I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, but the idea discussed in chapter 6 about the questions (rather than the results) of polls never occurred to me. Now it makes perfect sense that the questions and form of inquiry should be included when sharing results of polls. To me, the questions are more important than the results. We all know that how a question is asked reflects a lot on what kind of answer is required or desired. Voice inflection is an important aspect when questioning, along with the order of questions. Like Dr. Jerz's comment/idea about the question, "When did you stop beating your wife?" questioning tells a lot about the interviewer and interviewee.

Posted by KatherineLambert at October 30, 2005 06:14 PM

And as Dr. Jerz pointed out elsewhere, one of a journalists most useful talents is the ability to ask good questions; ask good questions, and you'll more than likely get good answers.

Posted by: ChrisU at October 31, 2005 11:31 AM

My question, though, (no pun intended) is what constitutes a "good" question? I worry about sounding uninformed or elementary.

Posted by: Katie Lambert at November 9, 2005 08:46 PM
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