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The Associated Press released a new guide for the upcoming U.S. presidential election, advising journalists on standards, definitions and more, according to an AP press release. For example, the guide lists a series of “cliches and alternatives” journalists can use, as well as standards and definitions for language.

The AP also recommends “writing with context,” including a “sense of place” and “quotes from voters” and, interestingly, avoiding polls.  The guidance reads:

“Rely on polls sparingly. Determine whether an opinion survey is reliable before including it.”

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David Moore, who writes iMediaEthics’ PollSkeptic Column and PollTalk blog, responded to that guidance.  Moore said: “One piece of additional advice – for the presidential race (and all other contests): Don’t trust the results of any given poll. Go to websites that present averages of all the polls that are taken for each contest, sites like RealClearPolitics and Pollster on HuffingtonPost. The averages tend to correct for the problems in individual polls. And remember – even these polls are not especially accurate until just before the election!”

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New AP Style Guide for Reporting on the 2012 U.S. Elections

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