News Interest Index, October 2003

Data Archive > U.S. Surveys > General Population > National > Pew Research Center > Summary


This survey addresses respondents’ opinions regarding various issues (especially homosexual issues and the situation in Iraq) recently in news media. Questions cover opinions and views regarding both gay marriage and civil unions and whether or not clergy at the respondents’ religious congregation discuss issues such as: current elections, the situation in Iraq and laws regarding homosexuals. Respondents give open-ended responses about homosexuality, including whether or not they have a friend or acquaintance that is gay. Furthermore, this study investigates views on job availability, the effects of President George W. Bush’s economic policies, and the situation in Iraq (e.g., media coverage and what should be done there). This survey also asks detailed questions regarding where the respondent gets national and international news and information (e.g., magazines, newspapers, radio, internet, TV, local news programming, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, etc.).

Data File
Cases: 1,515
Variables: 133
Weight Variable: WEIGHT, WEIGHTX
Data Collection
Date Collected: October 15 to October 19, 2003
Funded By
Pew Research Center for the People and the Press
Collection Procedures
All quotations taken from: Methodology provided by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) for the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, 2003.

Telephone interviews conducted under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International to achieve “a nationally representative sample of 1515 adults living in continental United States telephone households. The interviews were conducted in English by Princeton Data Source, LLC from October 15 to October 19, 2003. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is ±3%.”
Sampling Procedures
“The sample was designed to represent all continental U.S. telephone households. The telephone sample was provided by Survey Sampling International, LLC (SSI) according to PSRAI specifications. The sample was drawn using standard list-assisted random digit dialing (RDD) methodology. Active blocks of telephone numbers (area code + exchange + two-digit block number) that contained three or more residential directory listings were equally likely to be selected; after selection two more digits were added randomly to complete the number. This method guarantees coverage of every assigned phone number regardless of whether that number is directory listed, purposely unlisted, or too new to be listed. After selection, the numbers were compared against business directories and matching numbers purged.”
Principal Investigators
The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press (PRC)
Related Publications
Source: Methodology provided by Princeton Survey Research Associates International for the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, 2003.

The following link contains a Pew Research Center report on the findings of this survey:
http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?ReportID=195
Notes on Weighted Data
“Weighting is generally used in survey analysis to compensate for patterns of nonresponse that might bias results. The interviewed sample of all adults was weighted by form to match national parameters for sex, age, education, race, Hispanic origin and region (U.S. Census definitions). These parameters came from a special analysis of the March 2002 Current Population Survey (CPS) that included all households in the continental United States that had a telephone.”

“Weighting was accomplished using Sample Balancing, a special iterative sample weighting program that simultaneously balances the distributions of all variables using a statistical technique called the Deming Algorithm. Weights were trimmed to prevent individual interviews from having too much influence on the final results. The use of these weights in statistical analysis ensures that the demographic characteristics of the sample closely approximate the demographic characteristics of the national population. Table 1 compares weighted and unweighted sample distributions to population parameters.”

More information regarding the weight variables, COMMIT variable, and other notes can be found at the following link:

http://www.people-press.org/methodology/