Journalism has been revolutionised by the internet and social media. On Five Books, our interviews with seasoned journalists, academics and news experts recommend books that seek to understand that revolution. We also have interviews on the history, practice and ethics of journalism.
Jay Rosen of NYU's School of Journalism chooses his best books on journalism in the internet age. Todd Gitlin, professor of journalism at Columbia, looks at the future of the media and former Guardian editor, now Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, Alan Rusbridger, chooses his best books on the future of journalism. Meanwhile, on the shifting economics of the media, Richard Tofel, general manager of ProPublica, looks at the changing business of journalism and James T Hamilton, Professor of Communication at Stanford, chooses his best books on the economics of news.
Journalists Toby Young and Robert Cottrell choose their best books on the craft, and foreign correspondent Martin Bell chooses his best books on reportage and war. Young, Cottrell and Bell all choose Scoop by Evelyn Waugh. Peter Stothard, former editor of the Times and the Times Literary Supplement, chooses his best books on editing newspapers. Award-winning investigative reporter Heather Brooke talks about holding power to account and Nick Davies, also an investigative journalist chooses his best books on investigative journalism and talks about how that is changing.
Guy Raz chooses his essential reading for reporters; John M Hamilton looks at American foreign reporting, and historian and journalist Timothy Garton-Ash at the history of the present. Lorraine Adams looks at the truth behind the headlines and discusses how and why newspapers sometimes fail to make the first draft of history. Amanda Smith looks at newspaper dynasties.
Network Nations: A Transnational History of British and American Broadcasting
by Michele Hilmes
Paving the Empire Road: BBC television and Black Britons
by Darrell M. Newton
Behind the Wireless: A History of Early Women at the BBC
by Kate Murphy
BBC World Service: Overseas Broadcasting, 1932-2018
by Emma Robertson & Gordon Johnston
London Calling: Britain, the BBC World Service and the Cold War
by Alban Webb
The British Broadcasting Corporation celebrates its centenary this year. The beloved institution has always had a paradoxical identity: part monopoly and government organ, part commercial enterprise and government critic; part bringer of change, part defender of the status quo. Here Simon Potter, Professor of Modern History at the University of Bristol, talks us through the history and the transformations the BBC has undergone since it was first founded in 1922.
A good writer must always aim to write the truth – a more complex narrative than one of heroes and villains. But to find the truth, sometimes you’ve got to get up and go there yourself, says Will Storr, journalist and author of Selfie. Here he selects five books that have inspired his own immersive approach to nonfiction.
Free speech is the bedrock of a healthy society, but how do we deal with the torrents of horrible comments—and worse—we see on the internet every day? Timothy Garton Ash, author of Free Speech: Ten Principles for A Connected World, outlines a plan for navigating the complexities and recommends the best books to help us think about free speech.
An Economic Theory of Democracy
by Anthony Downs
The Creation of the Media: Political Origins of Modern Communications
by Paul Starr
Paper Route: Finding My Way to Precision Journalism
by Philip Meyer
Watergate's Legacy and the Press: The Investigative Impulse
by Jon Marshall
The Watchdog That Didn't Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism
by Dean Starkman
Many features and failures of contemporary journalism are the result of supply and demand rather than conspiracy theories, says the director of Stanford’s journalism program and author of All the News That’s Fit to Sell. He chooses five great books on the ‘economics of news.’
With his books In Patagonia and The Songlines, Bruce Chatwin (1940-1989) reinvented travel literature. Nicholas Shakespeare, his biographer, lifts the lid on a complex life and selects five books that influenced Chatwin’s work.
The author and former New York Times reporter says that some of the very best writing today is nonfiction — and that seductive narratives can yank readers into the most diverse range of subjects
Why do huge stories sometimes go unreported? Our news media are good at promulgating conventional wisdom but find it much more difficult to deal with evidence that contradicts it, says the former Washington Post reporter
Long-time foreign correspondent Michaela Wrong, the author of books on Zaire, Eritrea, Kenya and Rwanda, tells us where to turn for engaging foreign perspectives on Africa. She recommends five of her favourite books on Africa, by anthropologists, journalists and one US president.
Heather Brooke’s investigative journalism was the catalyst for the MPs expenses scandal of 2009. With an eye to how power corrupts, from Orwell’s Animal Farm to an apartheid memoir, she looks at importance of sticking to one’s principles and the dangers that arise when we don’t
Former editor-in-chief of The Guardian talked to us in 2012 about brave new frontiers for journalism, the hunt for a business model to pay for it all, and what he hoped (and feared) the Leveson Inquiry would decide about press regulation.
The writer dubbed “LA’s number one muckraker” peels away the phoney baloney to tell us about power, pollution and pulp fiction in the City of Angels.
The former BBC war reporter picks out essential reading on the Bosnia and Vietnam wars and explains why a book of poetry speaks more to him about the reality of conflict than any other writing
From the Hearsts to the Murdochs, powerful families have often controlled the newspapers we read. The author, and Kennedy family member, tells us why they do it and where it leads
The journalist and author praises tabloid hacks, lambasts Johann Hari, picks a bone with Christopher Hitchens, and selects five books that exemplify good reporting – or satirise it mercilessly
In a break from our usual practice of focusing on books, we asked the journalism analyst and veteran blogger Jay Rosen to recommend five articles illustrating the upheavals of the news business
Richard Tofel, general manager of the non-profit newsroom ProPublica and former assistant publisher of the Wall Street Journal, explains why the printed newspaper is doomed. He recommends the best books to read to better understand the changing business of journalism.
Historian and journalist Timothy Garton Ash describes the “mongrel genre” between reportage and scholarship and says using the historian’s tools to analyse the present is a vital undertaking
As both a solicitor advocate and literary scholar, Anthony Julius occupies a privileged place to navigate complex interactions between literature and law. He picks the best books on censorship, including three novels subjected to their own censorship controversies.
NPR host and former foreign correspondent offers practical and anecdotal guidance on reporting the news. Says, “I don’t buy this idea that there was a golden age in journalism”
Newspaper journalism is on its way out, regrets the former foreign correspondent and Browser co-founder Robert Cottrell. He chooses four novels that reflect the golden days and a style guide that is an equally fine work of imagination.
The former FIA president discusses privacy very openly, with candid views on the press and his own personal scandal. Recommends books on everything from media distortion to mind control
The Professor of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University discusses American foreign correspondents. Laments the lack of swashbuckling approach amongst current crop of journalists
The Editor of The Times Literary Supplement discusses the changing history of the Newspaper Editor. Suggests further reading and highlights Peter Forster’s The Spike as the most accurate depiction of an editor’s work.
The award-winning journalist and author says she laughed out loud when she read Greg Mortenson’s line that if he was killed in Pakistan, he knew it would be in a car accident and not by a terrorist
Preface to Plato
by Eric A Havelock
The Printing Press as an Agent of Change
by Elizabeth L Eisenstein
The Creation of the Media: Political Origins of Modern Communications
by Paul Starr
Raymond Williams on Culture and Society: Essential Writings
by Raymond Williams
by Todd Gitlin
The Journalism Professor at Columbia University discusses the future of the media. Argues that the availability of intelligently compiled, serious information is a prerequisite for democratic life
War reporter tells us that her life is permeated with sense of loss and longing. She quotes her heroine Martha Gellhorn: “I have a sudden notion of why history is such a mess. Human beings do not live long enough”
The investigative journalist says when he started out reporting PR copy was a real rarity. If you were writing about crime, you’d call the police station and speak to an officer.
The Press Association’s legal advisor argues that the definition of privacy in Britain is being redefined by judges on a seemingly ad hoc basis. Discusses privacy issues and reviews the best books on the subject