The Associated Press and NORC at the University of Chicago announced a new research partnership Wednesday, joining to create the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Headquartered in Chicago, the new center will conduct in-depth public opinion research projects on newsworthy topics, with the goal of creating high-impact journalism and data which contribute to the public discussion on important issues.

"We are excited to partner with The Associated Press and its world-class team of journalists to bring insightful data and analysis to the broader public that will assist them in making decisions and assessing the world around them," said John Thompson, president and CEO of NORC.

Beyond its opinion research work, the AP-NORC Center will contribute to the field of survey research through methodological experimentation, create a new program to educate journalists and the public about polling, and sponsor public forums on important and newsworthy topics.

"AP is committed to being an industry leader in high-quality opinion research. We see independent research into the public's views and opinions as a core part of our journalism," said AP Senior Managing Editor for U.S. News Michael Oreskes. "We are proud to partner with NORC at the University of Chicago, one of the finest institutions in the research world, to bring our audiences unique insights into the important social and political questions of our time."

The AP, a not-for-profit news cooperative, conducts regular polling with the global research firm GfK as well as other partners. Trevor Tompson, the AP's global director of polling, said the new initiative is designed to "complement the AP's strong polling partnerships, with GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications and our other media and research partners."

Tompson and NORC executive vice president Daniel S. Gaylin will head the Center.

NORC at the University of Chicago has been conducting survey research since 1941, conducting research projects in the U.S. and internationally for a broad range of clients. It is perhaps best known for long-term tracking of social attitudes through the General Social Survey.

Research conducted by the new center will be sponsored by philanthropic organizations and other independent groups or individuals. The new center will release its first report — analyzing public opinion on civil liberties 10 years after the 9/11 attacks — in early September.



AP-NORC Center: www.apnorc.org