The Elements of Journalism
What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect, Completely Updated and Revised
Publication Date: April 24, 2007
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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The Book That Every Citizen and Journalist Should Read
“What this book does better than any single book on media history, ethics, or practice is
weave . . . [together] why media audiences have fled and why new technology and megacorporate ownership are putting good journalism at risk.” —Rasmi Simhan, Boston Globe
“Kovach and Rosenstiel’s essays on each [element] are concise gems, filled with insights worthy of becoming axiomatic. . . . The book should become essential reading for journalism professionals and students and for the citizens they aim to serve.” —Carl Sessions Stepp, American Journalism Review
“If you think journalists have no idea what you want . . . here is a book that agrees with you. Better—it has solutions. The Elements of Journalism is written for journalists, but any citizen who wonders why the news seems trivial or uninspiring should read it.” —Marta Salij, Detroit Free Press
The elements of journalism are:
* Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth.
* Its first loyalty is to citizens.
* Its essence is a discipline of verification.
* Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover.
* It must serve as an independent monitor of power.
* It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.
* It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant.
* It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional.
* Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.
Bill Kovach is the chairman of the Committee of Concerned Journalists. Tom Rosenstiel is director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism. They are the authors of Warp Speed: America in the Age of Mixed Media.
"At a time when technological and financial forces are creating formidable challenges to journalism's traditional values, Kovach and Rosenstiel have written an immensely valuable primer on who we are, what we do, and how we should do it."
-- David Halberstam
"The Elements of Journalism is a remarkable book that does a superb job of describing the problems, articulating the values, outlining the risks, and offering understandable and practical ways to respond to the difficulties of the present state of journalism. The Elements of Journalism ought to become required reading for every institution (and individual) engaged in journalism."
— Neil Rudenstine, President, Harvard University
"Of the many books that have been written about reporting the news, this one best captures the shortcomings, subtleties, and possibilities of modern journalism. It deserves to become as indispensable to journalists and journalism students as The Elements of Style."
— Tom Goldstein, Dean, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University
"In an age when partisan rancor and ratings-driven showmanship have crowded out the more subtle virtues of solid journalism, Tom Rosenstiel and Bill Kovach provide a timely refresher course in the importance of press fundamentals. They remind us that at its best, journalism is a high public calling, and all those who practice it have a deeper obligation to their readers and viewers than to the demands of the market."
— David Talbot, editor-in-chief, Salon.com