Reading List

Books

The Presidents: Noted Historians Rank America’s Best–and Worst–Chief Executives – Brian Lamb

Over a period of decades, C-SPAN has surveyed leading historians on the best and worst of America’s presidents across a variety of categories — their ability to persuade the public, their leadership skills, the moral authority, and more. The crucible of the presidency has forged some of the very best and very worst leaders in our national history, along with much in between.

Based on interviews conducted over the years with a variety of presidential biographers, this book provides not just a complete ranking of our presidents, but stories and analyses that capture the character of the men who held the office. From Abraham Lincoln’s political savvy and rhetorical gifts to James Buchanan’s indecisiveness, this book teaches much about what makes a great leader–and what does not.

As America looks ahead to our next election, this book offers perspective and criteria that may help us choose our next leader wisely.

Prisoner – Jason Rezaian

“An important story. Harrowing, and suspenseful, yes—but it’s also a deep dive into a complex and egregiously misunderstood country with two very different faces. There is no better time to know more about Iran—and Jason Rezaian has seen both of those faces.”— Anthony Bourdain

The dramatic memoir of the journalist who was held hostage in a high-security prison in Tehran for eighteen months and whose release—which almost didn’t happen—became a part of the Iran nuclear deal.

The Voice of America: Lowell Thomas and the Invention of 20th-Century Journalism – Mitchell Stephens

Few Americans today recognize his name, but Lowell Thomas was as well known in his time as any American journalist ever has been. Raised in a Colorado gold-rush town, Thomas covered crimes and scandals for local then Chicago newspapers. He began lecturing on Alaska, after spending eight days in Alaska. Then he assigned himself to report on World War I and returned with an exclusive: the story of “Lawrence of Arabia.”

Trailblazer: A Pioneering Journalist’s Fight to Make the Media Look More Like America – Dorothy Butler Gilliam

Most civil rights victories are achieved behind the scenes, and this riveting, beautifully written memoir by a “”black first”” looks back with searing insight on the decades of struggle, friendship, courage, humor and savvy that secured what seems commonplace today-people of color working in mainstream media.

Told with a pioneering newspaper writer’s charm and skill, Gilliam’s full, fascinating life weaves her personal and professional experiences and media history into an engrossing tapestry. When we read about the death of her father and other formative events of her life, we glimpse the crippling impact of the segregated South before the civil rights movement when slavery’s legacy still felt astonishingly close. We root for her as a wife, mother, and ambitious professional as she seizes once-in-a-lifetime opportunities never meant for a “”dark-skinned woman”” and builds a distinguished career. We gain a comprehensive view of how the media, especially newspapers, affected the movement for equal rights in this country. And in this humble, moving memoir, we see how an innovative and respected journalist and working mother helped provide opportunities for others.

With the distinct voice of one who has worked for and witnessed immense progress and overcome heart-wrenching setbacks, this book covers a wide swath of media history — from the era of game-changing Negro newspapers like the Chicago Defender to the civil rights movement, feminism, and our current imperfect diversity. This timely memoir, which reflects the tradition of boot-strapping African American storytelling from the South, is a smart, contemporary consideration of the media.

As I Saw It: A Reporter’s Intrepid Journey – Marvin Scott

Over a career spanning more than 50 years, veteran journalist Marvin Scott has seen it all. From international headlines to local heroes, the eleven-time Emmy Award–winner and member of the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame has covered the news with objectivity and integrity, bringing journalistic excellence to every level of reporting. Scott has interviewed six presidents, visited the frontlines of war in the Middle East and Asia, and witnessed the rise of America’s space program―all in a day’s work.

Sometimes You Have to Cross When It Says Don’t Walk: A Memoir of Breaking Barriers – Lesley Visser

When Lesley was 11, she told her mother that she wanted to be a sportswriter. The job didn’t exist for women in 1964, but her mother—instead of suggesting she become a teacher or a nurse—replied, “Great! Sometimes you have to cross when it says, ‘Don’t walk.'”That answer changed Lesley’s life. Even though no one had done it before, it gave her the strength and self-confidence to try—permission to cross against the light.

When Lesley began, the credentials said, “No Women or Children in the Press Box,” but she didn’t let that stop her. Lesley covered sports for more than 40 years, pioneering women’s journalistic presence in men’s professional sports, from inside the locker room to out on the field. She’s the first and only woman to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and to ever present the Vince Lombardi Trophy at the Super Bowl. And she’s the only sportscaster in history to have worked on the network broadcasts of the Final Four, Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals, Triple Crown, Olympics, U.S. Open, and the World Figure Skating Championship. Lesley currently appears on CBS’s “We Need to Talk,” the first-ever nationally televised all-female weekly hour-long sports show.

Lesley’s had her share of hurdles and stumbles. But with passion, perseverance, and dedication, she found a way to achieve her dream, learning valuable lessons along the way. (Hint: Humor goes further than anger, and no, we can’t all look like Beyoncé.)

In Sometimes You Have to Cross When It Says ‘Don’t Walk,’ Lesley Visser shares her historic journey through the world of sports broadcasting with innate wisdom and good humor. For sports fans who grew up with Lesley, her memoir reads like a walk down memory lane, full of behind-the-camera, VIP-access stories involving John Madden, Jerry Jones, Bill Belichick, Joe Torre, and many more famous sports figures. But even those hearing her story for the first time, no matter what their background, will be inspired to chase their dreams, blaze new trails, and pursue the life they want.

We Say #NeverAgain: Reporting by the Parkland Student Journalists – Edited by Melissa Falkowski and Eric Garner

A journalistic look at the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland and the fight for gun control–as told by the student reporters for the school’s newspaper and TV station.

This timely and media-driven approach to the Parkland shooting, as reported by teens in the journalism and broadcasting programs and in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas newspaper, is an inside look at that tragic day and the events that followed that only they could tell.

It showcases how the teens have become media savvy and the skills they have learned and honed–harnessing social media, speaking to the press, and writing effective op-eds. Students will also share specific insight into what it has been like being approached by the press and how that has informed the way they interview their own subjects.

News Reporter RED-HOT Career Guide; 2548 REAL Interview Questions – Red-Hot Careers

Land your next News Reporter role with ease and use the 2548 REAL Interview Questions in this time-tested book to demystify the entire job-search process. If you only want to use one long-trusted guidance, this is it. Assess and test yourself, then tackle and ace the interview and News Reporter role with 2548 REAL interview questions; covering 70 interview topics including More questions about you, Values Diversity, Interpersonal Skills, Toughness, Introducing Change, Detail-Oriented, Performance Management, Motivation and Values, Believability, and Scheduling…PLUS 60 MORE TOPICS…

OFF AIR: My Journey to the Anchor Desk – Sheba Turk

Sheba Turk is an anchorwoman like no other. Strong and capable, she forged a path to her successful career with perseverance and hard work. She seized the opportunities given to her and overcame enormous obstacles along the way. In her timely and moving book, Turk shows us that we, too, can smooth that bumpy path using the wisdom earned in the early stages of her own career. She covers topics ranging from mentorship to establishing your own brand.

Do I Make Myself Clear?: Why Writing Well Matters – Harold Evans

Harry Evans has edited everything from the urgent files of battlefield reporters to the complex thought processes of Henry Kissinger. He’s even been knighted for his services to journalism. In DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?, he brings his indispensable insight to us all in his definite guide to writing well. The right words are oxygen to our ideas, but the digital era, with all of its TTYL, LMK, and WTF, has been cutting off that oxygen flow. The compulsion to be precise has vanished from our culture, and in writing of every kind we see a trend towards more–more speed and more information but far less clarity.

Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs – Cyma Rubin

The defining moments of the tumultuous second half of the twentieth century captured in riveting photographs. Collected here are the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs (updated to include winners through 2001) pictures that influenced our thinking in times of crisis and sometimes stirred us to action. Among them are Joe Rosenthal’s World War II photograph of the raising of the flag over Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima, commemorating the more than 6,000 marines who died in the battle for that small Pacific island, and Robert Jackson’s photograph of Jack Ruby killing Lee Harvey Oswald, recalling the anguish of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The pictures document that we have lived in a violent age, showing the brutalities of war, racism, and despotism. But the Pulitzer photojournalists also recorded tender and compassionate moments, as in Brian Lanker’s pictures of joyous parents at the birth of their child, or Scott Shaw’s photographs of the rescue of a little girl trapped in a well. In coming centuries, these indelible images will inevitably be used to illustrate the triumphs and tragedies of our era. 85 duotone and 37 color photographs.

Savage News: A Novel – Jessica Yellin

Be noisy. Natalie Savage grew up hearing these words from her beloved father, who admired Walter Cronkite so much he named the family dog after him. Natalie—who spent her twenties missing out on life’s benchmarks—finally sees her efforts pay off when she’s assigned to cover the White House for her network, ATN. The problem? The position is only temporary, a test to see if she has what it takes. She has always relied on her grit, her principles and her news sense to gain success. But now her competition is a twenty-six-year-old spoiled frat boy who got his big television break by eating raw animal parts on a reality show.

Of course, he’s winning.Natalie, along with her scrappy production team, has to navigate ratings wars, workplace sexual harassment and an international political crisis in order to prove herself. But the closer she gets to achieving her dream job, the more she wonders if it is worth all the compromise.

Timely, funny and smart, this juicy debut is the perfect tonic for readers contending with today’s politics and the #MeToo movement. Natalie Savage will be sure to join the ranks of our favorite fictional heroines as she figures out that having it all doesn’t mean giving up everything she stands for.

Our Women on the Ground – Zahra Hankir (Ed.) and Christiane Amanpour

A growing number of intrepid Arab and Middle Eastern sahafiyat—female journalists—are working tirelessly to shape nuanced narratives about their changing homelands, often risking their lives on the front lines of war. From sexual harassment on the streets of Cairo to the difficulty of traveling without a male relative in Yemen, their challenges are unique—as are their advantages, such as being able to speak candidly with other women at a Syrian medical clinic or with men on Whatsapp who will go on to become ISIS fighters, rebels, or pro-regime soldiers.

In Our Women on the Ground, nineteen of these women tell us, in their own words, about what it’s like to report on conflicts that (quite literally) hit close to home. Their daring and heartfelt stories, told here for the first time, shatter stereotypes about the region’s women and provide an urgently needed perspective on a part of the world that is frequently misunderstood.

Investigative Journalism: A Survival Guide – David Leigh

At a time of hyper-partisanship, media fragmentation and “fake news”, the work of investigative journalism has never been more important. This book explores the history and art of investigative journalism, and explains how to deal with legal bullies, crooked politicians, media bosses, big business and intelligence agencies; how to withstand conspiracy theories; and how to work collaboratively across borders in the new age of data journalism. It also provides a fascinating first-hand account of the work that went into breaking major news stories including WikiLeaks and the Edward Snowden affair.

Drawing on over 40 years of experience with world-leading investigative teams at newspapers including the Guardian and The Washington Post, award-winning journalist David Leigh provides an illuminating insight into some of the biggest news events of the 20th and 21st centuries. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in the behind-the-scenes work of journalists and news organizations. It also acts as an essential practical toolkit for both aspiring and established investigative journalists.

Websites

Predictions for Journalism 2019 – Nieman Lab

Each year, we ask some of the smartest people in journalism and digital media what they think is coming in the next 12 months. Here’s what they had to say.

Read Nieman Lab’s 2020 predictions here.

 

The 2020 Pulitzer Prize Winners

The Pulitzer Prize is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States. It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of Joseph Pulitzer who had made his fortune as a newspaper publisher, and is administered by Columbia University in New York City. Prizes are awarded yearly in twenty-one categories. In twenty of the categories, each winner receives a certificate and a U.S. $15,000 cash award (raised from $10,000 in 2017). The winner in the public service category of the journalism competition is awarded a gold medal.

 

State of the News Media – Pew Research Center

Since 2004, Pew Research Center has issued an annual report on key audience and economic indicators for a variety of sectors within the U.S. news media industry. These data speak to the shifting ways in which Americans seek out news and information, how news organizations get their revenue, and the resources available to American journalists as they seek to inform the public about important events of the day. The press is sometimes called the fourth branch of government, but in the U.S., it’s also very much a business – one whose ability to serve the public is dependent on its ability to attract eyeballs and dollars.

 

 

On Media: Where Politics Meet the Press – Politico

The News Literacy Project

The News Literacy Project (NLP) is a nonpartisan national education nonprofit that works with educators and journalists to teach middle school and high school students how to sort fact from fiction in the digital age. NLP provides these students with the essential skills they need to become smart, active consumers of news and information and engaged, informed citizens. News literacy teaches that all information is not created equal. It helps young people use the aspirational standards of quality journalism to determine what they should trust, share and act on. It also fosters an understanding of the importance of the First Amendment and a free press in a democracy, especially the watchdog role.

 

Solutions Journalism Network

The Solutions Journalism Network trains and connects journalists to cover what’s missing in today’s news: how people are responding to problems. They are working to bring solutions journalism to every newsroom worldwide.

 

REVEAL – from The Center for Investigative Reporting

Founded in 1977 as the nation’s first nonprofit investigative journalism organization, The Center for Investigative Reporting is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Over those four decades, we have developed a reputation for being among the most innovative, credible and relevant media organizations in the country.

Reveal – our website, public radio program, podcast and social media platform – is where we publish our multiplatform work. Our award-winning journalists hold the powerful accountable and reveal government fraud and waste of taxpayer funds, human rights violations, environmental degradation and threats to public safety. We consistently shine a bright light on injustice and protect the most vulnerable in our society.

 

ProPublica

ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism with moral force. We dig deep into important issues, shining a light on abuses of power and betrayals of public trust — and we stick with those issues as long as it takes to hold power to account. With a team of more than 75 dedicated journalists, ProPublica covers a range of topics including government and politics, business, criminal justice, the environment, education, health care, immigration, and technology. We focus on stories with the potential to spur real-world impact. Among other positive changes, our reporting has contributed to the passage of new laws; reversals of harmful policies and practices; and accountability for leaders at local, state and national levels.

 

Columbia Journalism Review

CJR’s mission is to be the intellectual leader in the rapidly changing world of journalism. It is the most respected voice on press criticism, and it shapes the ideas that make media leaders and journalists smarter about their work. Through its fast-turn analysis and deep reporting, CJR is an essential venue not just for journalists, but also for the thousands of professionals in communications, technology, academia, and other fields reliant on solid media industry knowledge.

 

Podcasts

Journalism in the Digital Age – Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Journalism leaders and luminaries discuss critical issues facing journalism and media in a weekly speaker series. Journalism in the Digital Age is produced by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

 

It’s All Journalism – Podcast One/Federal News Radio

It’s All Journalism is a weekly podcast about the changing state of digital media. Producers Michael O’Connell and Nicole Ogrysko interview working journalists about how they do their jobs. They also discuss the latest trends in journalism and how they impact our democratic society.

 

The Kicker – Columbia Journalism Review

Columbia Journalism Review’s mission is to encourage excellence in journalism in the service of a free society.

 

 

Videos/Shows

>CNN Reliable Sources – Brian Stelter

Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter examines the media world—telling the story behind the story—how news and pop culture get made. Watch on CNN, Sundays at 11 AM ET / 8 AM PT.

 

Media Buzz – Howard Kurtz

Watch on FOX News, Sundays 11 AM ET.

 

 

 

 

Local Journalism is Crucial Now: What’s BTS got to do with It?  – James Ford

At a time when news media have been called “the enemy of the people” by our country’s leadership, journalism at the local level is as vital as ever.

 

Empowerment Through Youth Journalism – Natalie Bettendorf

Natalie Bettendorf, already an accomplished journalist at the age of 18, explains why she believes youth journalism is an important vehicle to making young people’s voices heard. She shares a few of the pieces aired on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and Youth Radio and provides some ways in which youths can apply aspects of journalism into their daily lives.