A total of 1,507 people nationwide were interviewed by telephone from July 20 to 28 in The Washington Post's poll of attitudes toward the major news media.

Interviewing was conducted by Chilton Research Services of Radnor, Pa., with poll questions and analysis formulated by The Post. To reduce possible bias, interviewers identified themselves as representing the Chilton firm. People who asked who had commissioned the poll were requested to complete the interview first, and were told at the end of the interview that The Post had commissioned it.

This statement was made after a few introductory questions: "I'd like to ask you about the 'major news media' in this country, that is, the TV network news departments, a few nationally known newspapers and the big news magazines. I am talking about ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Time magazine, Newsweek magazine and a few other publications. Do you understand what I mean by the 'major news media?' "

Six percent of those interviewed said they did not know or were not sure. In those instances, the questions dealing with attitudes toward the media were not asked. Figures that pertain to opinions on the media, therefore, are based on interviews with 1,412 people. Theoretically, the margin of error for findings based on a sample of that size is about 3 percent in either direction, 95 percent of the time.