The 10 Best Journalism Textbooks

video play icon 10 Best Journalism Textbooks

This wiki has been updated 22 times since it was first published in July of 2018. Becoming a good reporter requires a lot of hard work, an inquisitive nature, a decent amount of skill, and tons of studying. If you want to be the best you can, you're going to need an excellent journalism textbook. These selections cover all the bases, teaching essential concepts like how to conduct an interview, maintain objectivity, and ways to avoid getting into legal trouble. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Writing and Reporting News: A Coaching Method

2. The Associated Press Stylebook

3. The Elements of Journalism

Editor's Notes

May 04, 2020:

Being a journalist has never been an easy career path, and as technology becomes increasingly intertwined with how people consume news, credible and insightful reporters are more vital now than ever. We wanted this list to touch on nearly every aspect of the field, from core basics and foundational skills to tackling the rise of fake news and understanding the role of social media. For those looking to take a well-rounded approach, many of the selections on our list of journalism books can be extremely helpful when paired with one of these textbooks.

While we wanted to keep a text on this list that catered to high schoolers, we felt that Journalism Today sadly had to be removed, as its focus is on technology but it hasn't been updated for quite some time. Because young people understand the nuances of technology better than most, we feel many students wouldn't engage with it. It does manage to convey the basics quite well, though, if you're willing to overlook its outdated content.

Today we brought on three new volumes to round our selection out to an even 10. Because our list didn't have anything addressing radio broadcasting, we felt that Sound Reporting would make a helpful addition to anyone considering podcasting and audio production. Coming from NPR, it has a wealth of practical, reliable information and shares plenty of handy tips from veteran staffers who are experts in storytelling and reporting.

While we already had the indispensable The Associated Press Stylebook listed, we also added The Associated Press Guide to News Writing for those who want something similar but more focused. It offers tried and proven advice and techniques for the industry mingled with the same authoritative guidance on style and punctuation.

It was important when updating this list to ensure there were plenty of extremely practical books to choose from, which is why you'll find the likes of Writing and Reporting News: A Coaching Method, The Law of Journalism and Mass Communication, and Investigative Reporting. To balance that out a bit, we added The Elements of Journalism, which not only looks at the building blocks of good reporting and integrates plenty of useful information on web-based journalism, but it also takes a thoughtful dive into the importance of the institution as a whole and discusses the need for morality and objectivity in depth.

Special Honors

MasterClass Those looking to take their cues from the very best in their respective fields should consider a membership with MasterClass. They provide hundreds of lessons from the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Natalie Portman, Margaret Atwood, Serena Williams, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, who share their stories, skills, shortcuts, failures, and successes. Journalism students will appreciate the legendary Bob Woodward's contribution on investigative journalism. Lessons can be watched with Apple TV, Amazon Firestick, Roku, and more.

Udemy Udemy is one of the leading global marketplaces for learning and instruction around today, with over 100 journalism-related classes and counting. These courses cover everything from teaching skills beginners need to advanced training in science journalism to investigative reporting strategies, delivering lessons via video lectures.

4. Investigative Reporting

5. Sound Reporting

6. The Law of Journalism and Mass Communication

7. Associated Press Guide to News Writing

8. Principles of American Journalism: An Introduction

9. Mobile and Social Media Journalism: A Practical Guide

10. Journalism: A Very Short Introduction

Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.

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