Monday, March 7, 2011

Sun Wins Pre-Pulitzer Prize! (And The RJ Changes Pollsters)

[UPDATE: Marshall Allen leaves the Sun for the nonprofit investigative journalism organization Pro Publica tomorrow. CONGRATS!]

Here we go, Vegas! The Las Vegas Sun is -- as I said a few weeks ago -- a serious threat for its second Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in three years after tonight's huge triumph as winners of the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting from Harvard's Shorenstein Center.

Reporters Marshall Allen and Alex Richards landed the $25,000 award, a predictor of Pulitzer finalists, for the investigative report "Do No Harm: Hospital Care in Las Vegas."

Bravo. The Pulitzers are announced in mid-April. A very big deal.

* * *

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, the new Review-Journal regime continues the mopping up job. Yesterday, they ran a big poll in the Vegas mayor's race. This is the big picture:

But this here is the news:

Their new pollster is Magellan Research. They dumped Mason Dixon, it appears. Which makes sense since they had the polling completely bass-akward in the Reid-Angle race and mislead the national press in the process. You know how it's an improvement? I don't recall Jon Ralston making any remarks at all about the methodology.


Anonymous said...

Great series/package, but the Sun does about one good local story a year, and their intention is to to do one thing: Win a Pulitzer. I know. I've sat in on the meetings. Is that really serving your community, when 99% of the rest of their copy is NYT wire stories, and their website is a rehash of television news flashes?

There's a reason their reporters/editors are always fleeing the scene right after a big win... because they all know the Sun's business model is "party until Greenspun turns off the light." Eventually, one of the Greenspuns is going to get sick of bleeding money and flick that switch. Those calling this the "future of journalism" must be anticipating a publicly funded model.

Anonymous said...

Switching to Magellan doesn't necessarily solve the problem afflicting the polling industry in general: reliance upon land-line phones as your database. This was the same mistake that led every pollster but George Gallup to overlook FDR's groundswell of support in 1932. Mason-Dixon was just one of several outfits that missed the mark last year because their anachronistic sampling methods skewed their forecast (see also the not-very-close gubernatorial and senatorial races in California).

David McKee