Manila Standard Today publishes results of its own polls intended to monitor public attitudes and preferences with regard the forthcoming 2010 Philippine elections. The Standard Poll, as it is officially called, covers not just voter preferences but also looks at issues affecting voter decision-making and pertinent concerns of the public regarding the May 2010 elections.

While the practice in the past has been for public opinion polling institutions to conduct pre-election and exit polls then partner with media institutions to exclusively report and publish the survey findings, MST is breaking new ground by having its own capability to conduct and report its own polls. This development is the first in the Philippines following after the way of CBS/New York Times poll and the Washington Post in the United States.

MST is directly responsible for designing the sampling methodology, defining the survey agenda, developing the questionnaire, processing, analyzing and interpreting survey data, and reporting the survey findings; field execution of the questionnaire is conducted by a professional field research agency under the strict supervision of the MST Polling Director.

MST Poll’s mission can be summed up with the acronym SMART.  S is for Scientific – by employing science as a a means to understand society. M means Measurable – by quantifying concepts related to our everyday situations.   A stands for Accuracy – by ensuring that from design to reporting, the methods are precise so that it can faithfully represent what is being measured. R is for Relevance – by monitoring pressing issues of the day which affect ordinary citizens. T for Transparency – by making the details of the design and reporting accessible to both the general public and all other interested parties; open to public scrutiny and research professionals. The MST Poll adheres to the best practices and high standards held by the World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR).

The employment of scientific methods in journalism has been introduced in the early 70s by Prof. Philip Meyer, which he terms “Precision Journalism,” in order to bring rigor to journalistic practices beyond anecdotal evidence. The MST Poll hopes to start this trend in the Philippines with the use of quantitative and qualitative research methods to better understand and report how we perceive issues and why we perceive it as such. It is a great honor to act as a reporter of the Filipinos’ collective opinions, attitudes and behavior.

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