Did Sun Times Use Unsound Violence Methods?

The folks at the Chicagoist blog (here) have some questions about the Sun Times series on kids and violence, and in particular the survey methodology that was used:.

"Is it possible

that students would have responded differently had the survey not been

asking about guns initially? Were any stories at all verified with any

sort of police or hospital records? Were students in less violent areas

questioned as a control group? While the findings are indeed harrowing,

the story would carry more weight were its methodology a little


It did seem like the paper was pushing the fearfulness thing pretty hard, and struggling to differentiate between hearsay and verified personal experiences. There was some effort to sift out the rumors in the classroom reporting, but the survey seemed problematic to me, too.

This is especially an issue given the Chicago papers' unfounded and sudden willingness to push youth violence as an in-school problem.

Filed under: Media Watch

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