The Ethics of Opinion Polls, A journalistic Examination
Political reporting is a journalism round or speciality that, in a democracy, deals directly with elected representatives and the ideals and policies they promote for society. The direct relevance of political reporting to society makes it one of the most important and agenda-setting specialities in western democratic societies.
This thesis considers contemporary Australian political journalism and its relationship with four central ethical principles. This thesis argues that the processes involved in producing contemporary Australian political journalism, particularly the misuse of public opinion polls in reporting, conflicts with the ethical principles enshrined in journalism practice.
It does this by considering journalism ethics in Australia, the processes involved in political reporting and the prevalence of public opinion polls in journalism. This thesis also analyses print journalism, a prominent forum for political reporting and the use of opinion polls. a textual analysis of articles from The Australian and The age newspapers highlights reporting on Australia’s first female prime minister, Julia Gillard, synthesising the ideas present throughout the thesis to consolidate its argument.
Ethics of Opinion Polls (PDF .5MB)