Writer: Denise-Marie Ordway | Last updated: March 21, 2017
Academic research is one of journalists’ best tools for covering public policy issues. It’s also a tool that takes skill to use.
Experienced journalists use research to ground their work and fact-check claims made by politicians, policymakers and others. Many journalists, however, are not trained in research methods and statistical analysis. Some have difficulty differentiating between a quality study and a questionable one.
Journalist’s Resource has put together a list of questions reporters should ask when selecting studies to guide their coverage. While there is no way to guarantee the quality of a study, these questions can help journalists avoid biased or otherwise flawed research.
It’s important to note that many of these questions apply primarily to quantitative research, or research in social sciences and natural sciences that involves the analysis of data.