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The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect, Completely Updated and Revised Paperback – Apr 24 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; Rev Upd edition (April 24 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307346706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307346704
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #88,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"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,

About the Author

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.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book ilustrates very well the current issues in journalism. The race to profits and market shares by media companies hurts the way news are made in the United States and the rest of the world as well. Kovach and Rosenstiel show how the newspeople can overcome these hurdles by going back to the roots. The numerous interviews made with media professionals are great additions to the work of the two journalists. Also, the updated edition contains new examples which are very useful to understand what is the problem with this and that.

I recommend this book to everyone who studies in journalism, works in the media or wants to better understand the mission of the journalist.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Worth reading although Canadian readers must adjust for the US-centric examples. A useful reminder of journailism's potential for preserving democratic systems.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa3a9e714) out of 5 stars 17 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3736714) out of 5 stars Journalism and Democracy May 2 2009
By Robert E. Levasseur - Published on
Format: Paperback
Where are the Walter Cronkites of the world?

I don't know the answer to this question, but I have often wondered what happened to those highly respected, eminently fair, seemingly unbiased journalists who used to grace our television sets and newspapers.

This book, written by journalists on behalf of a group of high level, very concerned journalists, directly addresses in a most lucid and intelligent manner their belief that something is "seriously wrong" with their profession.

If awareness is indeed the first step on the road to recovery, this book bodes well for the development of a new journalism, one that is in sync with the electronic age and will, much like Walter Cronkite, inform us of the facts and encourage us to form our own opinions, as is our right and responsibility as citizens.

If you are concerned about our democracy and the important role that journalism plays in preserving it, I encourage you to read this excellent book.

Robert E. Levasseur, Ph.D., president of MindFire Press ([...]
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa37363c0) out of 5 stars An interesting, if sometimes repetitive, read Oct. 16 2010
By Jonathan - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a journalism student, I found this book to be a valuable read. My journalism classes tend to be discussion-format with few absolutes and lots of conditionals. In that respect this book was worthwhile, if for nothing else than its laying out a sort of journalistic ten commandments.

The book can best be summarized as a state of the union address for journalists, examining the way things stand in the industry, how they got there and where they may be going. It does this within a context of a refresher course of Journalism 101 fundamentals, massaged and embellished slighty so that people familiar with the concepts won't simply skim over them. Some people may take issue with the authors' views on bias and conscience, but you can't say they don't make a decent case for them.

Most of the book will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with journalism today, but Kovach and Rosenstiel do a good job of delivering it in a concise and interesting way. In more than a few chapters they retread ground they covered earlier, which got a little annoying after a while. Other than those instances, the book is very well-written and is a good read for anyone who is involved with journalism, either as a consumer or as a producer.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4c65f24) out of 5 stars Best book on journailstic values and the state of the trade written in recent history Jan. 25 2010
By Jacob Probus - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is deeply informative and technical, yet it maintains entertaining elements and a can't-put-it-down pace -- I read it in less than a week.

Kovach and Rosenstiel get at the true meaning of what it is to be a journalist. They convincingly make the case for saving journalism -- showing that it is an imperative task if our democracy is to survive intact.

This book should be required reading for journalism students and professionals -- and those citizens who are serious about their news consumption and participation in our great democracy.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Ryan - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I bought this book I was looking for books that would help me explore the ethical and moral foundations of journalism. I didn't go to journalism school, I took a degree in history. This book is simply remarkable. Grounded in extensive interviews conducted by psychologists, town-hall meetings of professional journalists, and focus groups of editors and business people, it elucidates what journalists think journalism is and what it should strive to be.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in pursuing a career in journalism.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa36b97ec) out of 5 stars An interesting and very important book May 9 2008
By William B. Fokes - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I stumbled across this book and I am glad that I did. True journalism is an important part of America's heritage that is being challenged (and often simply ignored) by today's "media". The pace of changing technology today makes old fashioned journalism look obsolete to many, but it is actually more important than ever. How well journalism adapts to these changes will determine our country's future. The authors provide expert counsel on this complex subject in a surprisingly readable and interesting style.