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Philip Meyer

Philip Meyer began his newspaper career in 1944 as a substitute carrier for the Clay Center (Kansas) Dispatch. After graduation from Kansas State University, where he was editor of the daily Collegian, he served in the Navy, did reporting and editing for the Topeka Daily Capital, then studied and taught political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for an M.A. degree.

Those experiences led to a 23-year career with Knight Ridder as a Miami Herald reporter, Washington correspondent, and director of news and circulation research.  He returned to Chapel Hill as a Kenan professor in 1981 and recently retired as holder of its Knight Chair in Journalism.

Meyer’s most recent book is Paper Route: Finding My Way to Precision Journalism.  His other books include The Vanishing Newspaper (2004), the classic Precision Journalism (fourth edition, 2002), Ethical Journalism (1987), and The Newspaper Survival Book (1985). In 2000, the American Association for Public Opinion Research gave him its highest honor, the AAPOR award for distinguished achievement. He was a Nieman Fellow in 1966-1967.



There's a class war, all right. Guess who's winning.
COMMENTARY | July 10, 2012
Noted journalist Phil Meyer calls on reporters to follow the example of Barlett and Steele and see the patterns, the underlying structures that created and are perpetuating so much inequality.

Is this the year the polls go wrong?
COMMENTARY | October 29, 2010
Sooner or later there’ll be a blunder, writes the noted journalist/polling expert Phil Meyer. If it happens in 2010, the problem could be lack of interviews with cell-phone only households. We’ll know soon enough.

Will Americans get to like it in the Third World?
COMMENTARY | July 14, 2010
The government’s not telling us and the press should be but isn’t: Income inequality in the U.S. is the highest in almost 100 years. We’re about on a level with Mexico but far less equal than Canada. The CIA Factbook puts us just inside the lowest third of all nations, less equal than Ivory Coast, Iran, Nigeria, Guyana, Nicaragua, and Cambodia. Editors: maybe there’s a story here?

Phil Meyer, raising the ante again
SHOWCASE | March 28, 2008
'The hunter-gatherer model of journalism is no longer sufficient,' says the journalism innovator, at a symposium in his honor. 'Citizens can do their own hunting and gathering on the Internet. What they need is somebody to add value to that information by processing it – digesting it, organizing it, making it usable.'

Phil Meyer on what to look for in covering pre-election polls
COMMENTARY | January 14, 2008
The renowned journalist-pollster offers a 5-point checklist. He sees primaries as more difficult to poll than general elections and has no problem with focusing on the horse race.

Where's Leo Bogart when we need him?
COMMENTARY | February 23, 2006
Phil Meyer finds problems with reports of really high newspaper circulation for some newspapers and offers a little history lesson, including how sociologist and newspaper analyst Bogart came up with the ‘read yesterday’ measure.

Gas prices aren’t at a record high (yet) but health care costs are
ASK THIS | August 16, 2005
Increases at the pump make news because they are dramatic but only medical care prices are advancing far beyond the level of inflation, and they are doing so month after month. [Editor's note, Sept. 1: No longer true; gas prices are now at record levels.]

A correction on the matter of trust in newspapers
COMMENTARY | May 11, 2005
Credibility is low and declining – but a mislabeled Pew chart, picked up by some news organizations, makes things look a lot worse than they are

The Boccardi-Thornburgh report leaves some questions unanswered
COMMENTARY | January 12, 2005
Phil Meyer writes that the CBS investigative panel focuses more on procedures and less on the story itself, and that it offers at least one promising lead for reporters to pick up on.

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