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Precision journalism is a term that links the application of social science research methods (including survey research methods) to the practice of gathering information for the news purposes of journalists. Similar to a social scientist, a precision journalist discloses the data collection methodology well enough that another precision journalist or researcher could replicate the research studies and ostensibly would reach the same conclusions.

The term was coined by Everette E. Dennis in 1971 as part of seminar he taught at the University of Oregon. The concept then was explicated by one of his students, Neil Felgenhauer, in a term paper that later became a book chapter. Most of the “new journalism” of the time that inspired Dennis's seminar was the creation of talented writers (e.g. ...

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