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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

studies show

The use of studies, surveys and polls in journalism is either increasing or I am just noticing it more. Lately it seems that a large amount of what I read is either the result of a recently-conducted study, survey or poll. My faves this week:

1. Tom Udall's announcement that he will run for US Senate, coupled with Daily Kos' polling that if he does, he will win. (So much for suspense).
2. Santa Fe's food isn't as good as the food in other tourist cities, according to an online survey via Travel & Leisure and CNN Headline News. (Is it really headline news where tourists like to eat?)
3. The New York Times reports that just because students have behavior problems does not mean they are doomed, according to two new studies (jeez, I could have told them that).
4. Curvy women are smarter. That's what I'm talking about. Although this study is semi-debunked, you gotta love the headline. Slate rocks.
5. MIT economists have released a study showing that technology isn't going to help combat climate change. If I read this right, they seem to be recommending charging $6 a gallon for gasoline, proving once again the usefulness of academia in public life.
6. A task force shows that NM schools are consistently underfunded. And if we don't do a better job educating students, no one will be smart enough to conduct studies like this in the future!

Studies I'd like to see (and would conduct myself if I wasn't so busy blogging and putting out a newspaper.

1. A study showing how many times road workers are given the finger by passing motorists in the course of the day.
2. A poll on how often people really buy new toothbrushes.
3. A survey of 100 Santa Feans to determine what percentage of residents have actually worked for The Santa Fe Reporter (with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent of course).
4. A study that provides with me an estimate of how often the 8-ball in the classified department actually predicts the future.
5. A study to determine the likelihood that someone will provide me with a snack in the next hour.
6. A study to determine, ahead of time, how many hours of phone calls it will take to set up all the endorsement interviews for all the '08 elections.