Key Readings in Journalism

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Key Readings in Journalism brings together over thirty essential writings that every student of journalism should know. Designed as a primary text for undergraduate students, each reading was carefully chosen in response to extensive surveys from educators reflecting on the needs of today’s journalism classroom. Readings range from critical and historical studies of journalism, such as Walter Lippmann’s Public Opinion and Michael Schudson’s Discovering the News, to examples of classic reporting, such as Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward’s All the President’s Men. They are supplemented by additional readings to broaden the volume’s scope in every dimension, including gender, race, and nationality. The volume is arranged thematically to enable students to think deeply and broadly about journalism—its development, its practice, its key individuals and institutions, its social impact, and its future—and section introductions and headnotes precede each reading to provide context and key points for discussion.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Key Readings in Journalism truly constitutes a greatest hits in the field of journalism studies. All the classics, past and present, are here. This book belongs on the bookshelf of anyone who thinks about or studies the news. It is ideal for classroom use."

—Robert W. McChesney, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

"Key Readings in Journalism's selections cumulatively answer the important questions of why journalism is necessary and important, why it must be of the highest possible quality, and what the dangers may be when it isn't. Its selections will inspire scholars at all levels to want to read more of the excerpted works, and to seriously think about what journalism's other key readings might be."

—Dane S. Claussen, Editor, Journalism & Mass Communication Educator

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415880282
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 3/20/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 424
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Elliot King is Professor and Chair in the Communication Department at Loyola University Maryland.

Jane Chapman is Professor of Communications in the School of Journalism at Lincoln University, and is a Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College Cambridge.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: What We Should Know

Section I: The Development of Journalism


  1. Discovering the News, Michael Schudson
  2. A Place in the News, Kay Mills
  3. Technology and Ideology: The Case of the Telegraph, James W. Carey
  4. The African American Newspaper, Pat Washburn
  5. Comparative Media History, Jane Chapman
  6. Free for All: The Internet’s Transformation of Journalism, Elliot King
  7. Section II: Doing Journalism


  8. Deciding What’s News, Herbert Gans
  9. The Face of War, Martha Gellhorn
  10. The Race Beat, Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff
  11. The First Casualty, M. Phillip Knightley
  12. All the President's Men, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward
  13. The Girls in the Balcony, Nan Robertson
  14. Section III: Biography


  15. Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print and Power, James McGrath Morris
  16. The Autobiography of Lincoln Steffens, Lincoln Steffens
  17. Margaret Bourke White: A Biography, Vicki Goldberg
  18. Murrow: His Life and Times, A.M.Sperber
  19. Breaking Barriers, Carl Rowan
  20. Personal History, Katherine Graham
  21. Section IV: Classic Reporting


  22. Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases, Ida Wells-Barnett
  23. A History of Standard Oil Company, Ida Tarbell
  24. Ernie’s War, David Nichols
  25. Silent Spring, Rachel Carson
  26. In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
  27. The Boys on the Bus, Timothy Crouse
  28. Section V: Journalism and Society


  29. Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville
  30. Public Opinion, Walter Lippmann
  31. The Brass Check, Upton Sinclair
  32. A Free and Responsible Press: The Hutchins Committee Response, Robert D. Leigh
  33. The Press, A.J. Liebling
  34. Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky
  35. On Television and Journalism, Pierre Bourdieu
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