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Proposed Code of Professional Ethics and Practices for Public Opinion Research in Hong Kong
1.1 In view of the growing importance of public opinion polls in Hong Kong, it is desirable that some kind of professional standards be set for the conduct and publication of such polls. On January 26, 1999, at the Conference on "Reforming the News Media in Hong Kong" jointly organized by the Centre of Asian Studies of the University of Hong Kong and the Freedom Forum Asian Centre, Dr Robert Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre of the University of Hong Kong, publicized this Proposed Code of Professional Ethics and Practices for Public Opinion Research in Hong Kong (hereinafter referred to as "the Code") in order to stimulate discussion. The Code is herewith reprinted in this website to solicit public views.
1.2 This Code has been drafted according to international standards as excelled in similar guidelines adopted by the World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR), the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR). Special considerations have been made to take into account the state of local media development in the political context of Hong Kong. The ideas embedded in this Code are expected to evolve slowly as society progresses.
1.3 This Code when finalized may be conveniently cited as "The Hong Kong Code of Opinion Research", or "香港民意研究守則" in Chinese.
2.1 Public opinion researchers willing to be bound by this Code shall:
2.1.1 comply with all prevailing professional standards of conducting scientific surveys;
2.1.2 engage in opinion research and publish their findings freely;
2.1.3 NOT allow their research activities to be limited other than out of professional or legal considerations;
2.1.4 NOT select research tools and methods of analysis because of their capacity to yield misleading conclusions;
2.1.5 NOT knowingly misinterpret research results to yield incorrect or unwarranted conclusions;
2.1.6 publicly disclose what is required to correct any serious distortions of research findings, including, as appropriate, a statement to the public media or other groups in or before which the distorted findings were presented;
2.1.7 made readily available to the public, including the media and other researchers, the following information in relation to any piece of research which they have published:
126.96.36.199 the name of the sponsors, if any;
188.8.131.52 the purpose of the study;
184.108.40.206 the universe or population to which the results of the survey are projected;
220.127.116.11 the dates of fieldwork;
18.104.22.168 the method by which the sample was selected;
22.214.171.124 the response rate of the survey;
126.96.36.199 a profile of the respondents;
188.8.131.52 a description of the estimating procedure used for all results that are reported, including the sample size on which it was based and weighting procedures used to adjust raw data;
184.108.40.206 a discussion of the precision of the findings, including, if appropriate, estimates of sampling error;
220.127.116.11 a copy of the questionnaire with interview instructions.
3.1 All public media willing to be bound by this Code shall:
3.1.1 comply with the prevailing standard of professional conduct for journalists, especially in relation to the presentation of facts and accurate information;
3.1.2 make explicit to their readers or audience that they follow this Code;
3.1.3 comply with all obligations required of researchers under this Code if they themselves conduct opinion surveys;
3.1.4 NOT restrict any researchers from fulfilling their obligations under this Code.
3.2 All print media willing to be bound by this Code shall at least publish the following information in relation to any opinion survey which they report:
3.2.1 the name of the sponsors, if any;
3.2.2 the name of the researcher;
3.2.3 the universe or population to which the results of the survey are projected;
3.2.4 the dates of fieldwork;
3.2.5 the sampling method used, and in the case of random samples, the response rate;
3.2.6 the sample size and any weighting procedure used to adjust raw data;
3.2.7 a discussion of the precision of the findings;
3.2.8 the exact wording of the questions reported.
3.3 All broadcast media willing to be bound by this Code shall at least publish the following information in relation to any opinion survey which they report:
3.3.1 the name of the sponsors, if any;
3.3.2 the name of the researcher,
3.3.3 the universe or population to which the results of the survey are projected;
3.3.4 the dates of fieldwork;
3.3.5 the sample size.