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Precision Journalism

A Reporter's Introduction to Social Science Methods, Fourth Edition

Philip Meyer

Hardback
Paperback
eBook
Philip Meyer's work in precision journalism established a new and ongoing trend-the use by reporters of social science research techniques to increase the depth and accuracy of major stories. In this fully updated, fourth edition of the classic Precision Journalism (known as The New Precision Journalism in its third edition), Meyer shows journalists and students of journalism how to use new technology to analyze data and provide more precise information in easier-to-understand forms. New to this edition are an overview of the use of theory and science in journalism; game theory applications; introductions to lurking variables and multiple and logistic regression; and developments in election surveys. Key topics retained and updated include elements of data analysis; the use of statistics, computers, surveys, and experiments; database applications; and the politics of precision journalism. This accessible book is an important resource for working journalists and an indispensable text for all journalism majors. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 304Size: 6 1/4 x 9
978-0-7425-1087-6 • Hardback • March 2002 • $118.00 • (£75.00)
978-0-7425-1088-3 • Paperback • February 2002 • $38.00 • (£24.95)
978-1-4616-4118-6 • eBook • February 2002 • $37.99 • (£24.95)
Philip Meyer is the Knight Chair in Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Chapter 1 The Journalism We Need
Chapter 2 Using Numbers Rationally
Chapter 3 Some Elements of Data Analysis
Chapter 4 Harnessing the Power of Statistics
Chapter 5 Computers
Chapter 6 Surveys
Chapter 7 Lurking Variables, Part I
Chapter 8 Lurking Variables, Part II
Chapter 9 Experiments: In the Lab, in the Field, and in Nature
Chapter 10 Databases
Chapter 11 How to Analyze an Election
Chapter 12 The Politics of Precision Journalism
Chapter 13 Appendix: Three Things to Measure with Census Data
Precision Journalism is a must-read for journalists intending to do in-depth reporting in the 21st century—whether it involves polling, data analysis, or understanding complex reports. This updated edition clearly explains social science methods and how to effectively use them to increase the accuracy and credibility of news stories.
Brant Houston, University of Missouri, Columbia


Precision Journalism is the mother ship from which most other books on computer-assisted journalism were launched. Philip Meyer not only encouraged journalists to learn social science methods three decades ago, but he also provided a clear, user-friendly book to get them started. Now in its fourth edition, Precision Journalism continues to be an important resource in the arsenal of tools available to journalism educators, students, and practitioners.
Kevin Kawamoto, University of Washington


In his professional mode, Meyer leads readers into becoming as comfortable with numbers as with words—data analysis, basic statistical procedures, constructing and interpreting surveys, using databases, and much more. At the same time he warns working journalists not to get too comfortable with numbers.
Columbia Journalism Review


Philip Meyer's vision of 'precision journalism' as a standard of excellence for our profession is sharper than ever in this thoroughly updated and expanded edition of his classic book.
Stephen K. Doig, Arizona State University


—An easy-to-use text for courses in basic and advanced reporting, computer-assisted reporting, and mass communication research.

—An ideal resource for showing journalism students with little math background how to effectively useand report statistics.

—A fully updated edition of the classic Precision Journalism (also known as The New Precision Journalism in its third edition), named one of the 35 most significant journalism and communication books of the twentieth century by Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly.

New to this edition:

—An overview chapter addressing student skepticism about science and quantification

—A chapter on game theory, restored from the first edition

—Introductions to multiple and logistic regression

—Updates on election analysis techniques

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