It’s the start of a new academic year so I thought I’d compile a list of the latest reading I would recommend for any students looking at online journalism. (If you have suggestions for additions please let me know!):
Theoretical, historical and conceptual background
- Digital Journalism by Jones & Lee (Sage, 2011) is very comprehensive and worth reading in full.
- Gatewatching by Axel Bruns (Peter Lang, 2005) covers areas that tend to be overlooked by journalism books, such as new media methods and startups from outside traditional media. Read: Chapter 4: Making News Open Source
- The Wealth of Networks by Yochai Benkler (Yale University Press, 2007) provides a wider context and is available free online. Read: Chapter 4: The Economics of Social Production.
- We The Media by Dan Gillmor (O’Reilly, 2006) is a seminal book on citizen journalism which is also available free online.
Practical online journalism – general
- Clearly I’m going to say my own book, the Online Journalism Handbook (2017, Routledge), [UPDATE: now in its second edition], which covers blogging and web writing, data journalism, online audio and video, interactivity, community management and law.
- Online Journalism by Hill and Lashmar covers a wide range very well, including chapters on investigative journalism, building online communities and entrepreneurial journalism.
- Journalism Next by Mark Briggs (2013, CQ Press) also provides a good overview, with a particularly good chapter on workflow. Read: Chapter 9: Data-driven journalism and digitizing your life
- The Digital Journalist’s Handbook by Mark Luckie (CreateSpace, 2012) is similarly broad. Read: Chapter 6 on audio slideshows.
- Open Source Intelligence Techniques by Michael Bazzell (CreateSpace, 2013) provides a comprehensive range of search techniques and tools and is a useful reference.
- Search: Theory and Practice in Journalism Online by Murray Dick (2013) is likely to be a close competitor. Murray is an experienced trainer in advanced search who has taught my students in the past.
- The Visual Story by Bruce Block (2007) is recommended by Adam Westbrook as a key source on narrative and editing. Westbrook’s Inside the Story series, by the way, is also worth reading.
- The Digital Reporter’s Notebook by Mark Blaine (2013) is a wonderfully succinct book on the editorial approach to multimedia production.
- Practicing Convergence Journalism by Janet Kolodzy (Routledge, 2013) brings her earlier work up to date, focusing less on broadcast conventions and more on universal skills. Read: Chapter 4: Short and fast: covering a spot news story.
- Video Journalism for the Web by Kurt Lancaster (Routledge, 2013) covers the more documentary-influenced web-native forms and has a more practical focus. Read: Chapter 2: Finding a story and shaping the structure
Data journalism and visualisation
- How to Lie With Statistics by Darrell Huff (1954) is still essential reading half a century on.
- The Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics by Dona Wong (2010) is equally accessible on basic visual techniques to use and avoid.
- Scraping for Journalists is by me (Leanpub, 2013), so I’m obviously going to recommend this.
- Telling Stories With Spreadsheets (Leanpub, 2015) also by me
- Data Journalism Heist (Leanpub, 2014) by me too!
- Getting Started with Data Journalism is not by me! It’s by the wonderful Claire Miller (Leanpub, 2013) includes plenty of examples and covers a range of subjects.
- Deep Web for Journalists by Alan Pearce (Deep Web Books, 2013) covers the most ground here, while also providing some useful advanced search techniques.
- Secret Manoeuvres in the Dark by Eveline Lubbers (Pluto Press, 2013) has more in-depth case studies. Read: Chapter 5: Cybersurveillance and online covert strategy: case study.
- The Spy in the Coffee Machine by Jonathan Zittrain looks at surveillance more broadly, and prompts some useful reflections on ethics. Read: Chapter 7: Snoop to conquer: censorship, decisional privacy and ideological privacy.
Social media, community management
- Buzzing Communities by Richard Millington (Feverbee, 2012) is one of the more practical books on what should be part of every journalist’s skillset.
- Social Media for Journalists by Knight and Cook covers collaborative journalism but also publishing on social media, ethics, law and enterprise.
- The Wikipedia Revolution by Andrew Lih (2009) looks at the growth of that particular site’s community. Read: Chapter 5: Community at work (The Piranha Effect).
Ethics, distribution, law and entrepreneurship
- Newsonomics by Ken Doctor (St Martin’s Press, 2010) is a key volume on the business of publishing and journalism.
- Using the Defamation Act 2013 and Internet Law, both by Cleland Thom (2013) are impeccably succinct, plain-language overviews of the legal side of things.
- Ethics for Digital Journalists (Zion & Craig, eds, 2015) tackles ethical issues with a particular strength in data journalism and liveblogging.
- Online Journalism Ethics by Friend & Singer (ME Sharpe, 2007) provides useful case studies and dilemmas for considering broader online ethical issues.
- Creative Disruption by Simon Waldman (2010) tackles businesd change from the point of view of established companies, and is also worth reading in full.
- Entrepreneurial Journalism by Mark Briggs (2011) provides more practical advice on creating a content business in a multiplatform environment.
- The Entrepreneurial Journalist’s Toolkit by Sara Kelly (2015) covers a range of skills including audience profiling and community management.
- Misunderstanding the Internet by Curran et al (Routledge, 2012) is an excellent all-round debunker of various assumptions made about the web. Read: Chapter 4: Outsourcing internet regulation for a broader insight into the legal and regulatory context of online journalism.
- The Search by John Battelle looks at the development of the search engine industry – essential to understanding modern distribution. Read: Chapter 7: The Search Economy.
- Click by Bill Tancer (HarperCollins, 2008) looks at the same subject from the point of view of an analytics company. Read: Chapter 6: What are you afraid of? And other telling questions.
- The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick looks at the history of the social network, and the dynamics driving its development. Read: Chapter 16: The evolution of Facebook.
- Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky (2008) looks at changing dynamics in new media. Read: Chapter 10: Failure for Free for a call-to-arms around Just Doing It.
- What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis looks at similar dynamics through the angle of Google. Read: Chapter 7: New economy to challenge preconceptions around mass production.
- The Pirate’s Dilemma by Matt Mason is a book about cultural change – you can download it and pay what you want here. Read: Chapter 5: Boundaries: Disco nuns, the death of the record industry, and our open-source future.
I maintain a collection of recommended books in an Amazon list here. You can also find books that I’ve bookmarked by going to https://pinboard.in/u:paulbradshaw/t:book and adding /t: followed by the subject you’re interested in – for example https://pinboard.in/u:paulbradshaw/t:book/t:onlinevideo.
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