Letters to a Young Journalist

( 2 )


From one of America's most respected journalists--and a revered professor at Columbia University's School of Journalism--a lively and inspiring look at the art and craft of journalism.
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From one of America's most respected journalists--and a revered professor at Columbia University's School of Journalism--a lively and inspiring look at the art and craft of journalism.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Former New York Times reporter Freedman is a professor of journalism at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism; you'd expect this to be a book of practical tips and advice for students of the craft. It is not. Instead, Freedman has much to say about journalistic integrity, plain language and honest legwork, castigating recent malefactors like Jayson Blair, Judith Miller, and Dan Rather, and even scolding Janet Malcolm for her famous indictment of the journalist as "confidence man, preying on people's vanity, ignorance, or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse." The book is partly a memoir, looking back on the author's career, partly a lament over the state of today's journalism, a bastion of "chic misanthropy" or sheeplike conformism; and partly a heads-up to youth-he despises undergraduate journalism classes, counseling wannabes to choose almost any other major in favor of practical experience on the school newspaper. Not until halfway along or so does Freedman offer specific advice. Not a journalism primer, this could be an inspirational tract alongside one. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Freedman began his 30-year career by covering municipal meetings in northern New Jersey. He went on to write books, teach at Columbia, and become a columnist for the New York Times. Letters is not simply his reminiscences, nor is it a screed about the decline of journalism, though he lets his feelings about certain publishers be known. The book is fundamentally a manual that addresses how to be a journalist and how to succeed in the business. The author's experiences writing, reporting, and teaching allow him to compare different approaches to the newspaper business and to give suggestions for newcomers to the field. He offers valuable advice based on his experiences and the collective wisdom of his colleagues, including the need to adhere to such standards as trust, accuracy, and relevancy. Aspiring journalists can profit from this concise and purposeful guide.-Ted Westervelt, Library of Congress, Washington, DC Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465024568
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 11/8/2011
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 414,153
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Samuel G. Freedman is a Professor of Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and the author of six books of nonfiction. He has worked as a reporter for the New York Times and contributor to Rolling Stone and Salon, among other publications, and has won numerous awards, including a Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award, a National Jewish Book Award, and the Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism. He lives in New York City.
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Table of Contents

Temperament 21
Reporting 47
Writing 87
Career 133
Epilogue : ancestor worship 167
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 3 of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2006

    Heartfelt well-crafted advice to novice journalists

    American journalism is deeply flawed, but not fatally so, reporter Samuel G. Freedman argues in this clear-eyed critique of his calling. As one deeply steeped in his trade, Freedman offers both a damning indictment and an inspiring call to the next generation. Freedman structures his analysis as a series of letters to one of his students, and manages to strike just the right balance between the theoretical and the practical. He seasons his study with plenty of war stories from the front lines of journalism. In a business full of cynics, Freedman comes across as an idealist, one reporter who believes in the power of the press to change the world, in spite of dwindling readership and advertising revenue. We recommend this slim volume to anyone who works in the media or needs to understand its best intentions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2006

    Every journalist should read this book

    This is an excellent book for aspiring, as well as veteran, reporters. Every journalism student in the U.S. should read it. For full disclosure, Sam is a friend of mine.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 3 of 2 Customer Reviews

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