I was looking to draw up a list of ten essential books on online journalism – but it seems to me that there are really only six (updated to 8, September 2010).
Have I missed something? Let me know. In the meantime, here are my six 8 essential reads for online journalists:
- For a different angle on the whole shebang: Gatewatching by Axel Bruns: not the most famous of books – perhaps because it is so far ahead of its time. Gatewatching looks at peer to peer publishing, and non-traditional news organisations: the likes of Slashdot, Kuro5hin, and Wikinews, among others. An essential read for an insight into how news reporting can be organised completely differently. See also: Digitizing the News by Pablo Boczkowski.
- For an authoritative history: Online News by Stuart Allan: a refreshingly rigorous look at some of the most famous moments in online journalism – Rathergate; 9/11; Drudge. Helps supply the reality behind the mythology. See also: Online Journalism by Jim Hall.
- For an essential challenge to your basic journalistic values in the new media age: Online Journalism Ethics by Friend & Singer: poses the questions we should all be asking ourselves, and is brave enough not to supply the answer.
- For the definitive guide to citizen journalism: We The Media by Dan Gillmor: doesn’t sit on the wall, but then Gillmor would be the first to point out that objectivity is dead. Not to be confused with the also very good We Media by Bowman & Willis (online only).
- For a good introduction to the basics of writing for the web I will obviously now recommend The Online Journalism Handbook by Liisa Rohumaa and I. Also good: Digital Journalism by Mark S. Luckie
which brings up to date some of the techniques first introduced in Journalism Online by Mike Ward, which is still worth reading. And Convergence Journalism by Janet Kolodzy and Convergent Journalism by Stephen Quinn focus specifically on multimedia. Also, download Journalism 2.0 (PDF) by Mark Briggs (thanks to Steve Yelvington in the comments for reminding me about this one).
- For a guide to interactive storytelling: Flash Journalism by Mindy McAdams: covers the ideas behind good multimedia interactives as well as the practicalities.
- ADDED SEP 2010: On community management, 18 Rules of Community Engagement is a great introduction.
- ADDED SEP 2010: On the enterprise side of things, Funding Journalism in the Digital Age (reviewed here) is a great introduction to the range of business models and experiments.
- ADDED JULY 2011: For a vital grounding in search engine and social media optimisation: The Search by John Battelle, beefed up with Click by Bill Tancer and The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick.
UPDATE: It’s very true that blogs are a better source of up to date information and reflection on what’s going on now. Check out Shane Richmond’s list on must-read online journalism posts.