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The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect (Completely Updated and Revised)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  911 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
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
Paperback, 268 pages
Published April 24th 2007 by Three Rivers Press (first published 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mike Cognato
Feb 05, 2008 Mike Cognato rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Banal crap.

The book came recommended by William Safire, so I had high hopes. But, like most established journalists writing about journalism, the authors just wring their hands and lament that the golden age of journalism has been lost. No real analysis, and definitely no worthwhile suggestions. The authors are terrified of anything new and difficult to control from a newsroom desk, and seem utterly unaware that publications outside the United States actually exist; that news aggregators drive r
Jan 25, 2008 Tomi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: journalism
A 'must-read' book about contemporary journalism, which has been heavily affected by the powerful companies as well as strong political groups. The book outlines basic principles for journalists to maintain the quality of their works to serve the public --and eventually make the media business running well.
Kebenaran Itu Ibarat Cicak

Tulisan ini berawal dari sebuah film dan akan berakhir pada sebuah film.

“The truth is out there”, kata film seri terkenal The X-Files. Kebenaran itu ada di luar sana. Kalimat itu seperti menyiratkan bahwa kebenaran yang ada di luar sana bisa dicari, bisa ditemukan, meski tidak selalu mudah. Tapi siapa yang merasa perlu mencari kebenaran itu? Buku ini memberi jawab: wartawanlah yang mencari dan menyampaikan karena ada warga yang membutuhkan. Tapi tentu wartawan bukanlah
Adrienne Atkinson
This book promises to make its readers smarter, better, more efficient news consumers and producers. At a time when the presidential nominee of a major political party all but denies the existence of practical truth - the primary pursuit of journalism - understanding its essence and social worth should take on renewed importance.

Written by experienced practitioners, it enables recognition of journalism's key characteristics- accuracy, reliability, independence, and comprehensiveness. It offers
Riley Haas
Jan 04, 2017 Riley Haas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a short list of English language non-fiction books that I think are absolutely required reading for anyone to have a proper idea of the human condition - especially in so-called developed societies - in the early 20th century. At the very top of that list is Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond, a perspective-altering approach to history that destroys any claim to to one human group's superiority over another, be it based on race, class, gender, or other criterion. Another book on this ...more
Jul 18, 2007 Munib added it
These are tough times for journalism. Newsroom executives' bonuses tend to be based on their company's profit margin. Journalists are constantly jockeying for the time and space necessary to tell their stories as they see fit. Only 47 percent of Americans even read a newspaper. And Time and Newsweek--news magazines, remember?--"were seven times more likely to have the same cover story as People magazine in 1997 than in 1977."

It's no wonder that in 1997, the Committee of Concerned Journalists for
Nov 03, 2014 Jerry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: about-writing, bazin
The Elements of Journalism has generally good advice, but it lacks conviction and uses strangely inappropriate examples. It asks journalists to aspire to the scientific method, but without the socially hard work that the scientific method entails, such as telling your readers how to falsify your work. And the examples it uses are self-defeating, if it is to be taken at face value. For example, in the section on verification it praises David Protess and the Anthony Porter/Alstory Simon case—a cas ...more
Miguel Ángel Alonso Pulido
Una lectura obligada para todo aspirante a periodista o profesional del periodismo. Kovach y Rosenstiel han creado un manual y un manifiesto para que el periodismo pueda volver a ser un instrumento al servicio de los ciudadanos y no de otros intereses. No entran de lleno en el cambio de paradigma del periodismo hacia el digital y no da soluciones para la crisis de los periódicos, pero sí es un espejo de lo que son los elementos clave del periodismo, que todos los nuevos medios nacidos en la red ...more
Lisa Rau
Dec 28, 2010 Lisa Rau rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really more for those entrenched in journalism and public service rather than the everyday consumer, but a compelling and thorough review of the basic building blocks of "good journalism." However, the authors fail to devote enough pages to conflicts of interest--namely, corporate ones--as this is a huge, inescapable issue for any publication, especially ones that claim to purport the truth.
Amanda Vollmershausen
This book was mandatory reading for my first year journalism course, but it would have been worth reading outside of class. It made me think about basic concepts in new ways and clarified a lot of things that were muddled to me before. I'd recommend it to anyone getting started/looking into journalism as well as any news consumer, to understand the reliability and limitations of the press.
Apr 21, 2014 Udin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
jurnalisme itu praksis daripada teoritis. tetapi sebagai praksis, bukan lalu ia lepas dari prinsip-prinsip ideal yang mengerangkainya. buku ini memaparkan pengalaman, kegelisahan, dan permenungan tentang praktik jurnalisme.
Nov 26, 2011 PMP rated it liked it
Shelves: scribbler, soapbox
I was just looking for a basic how-to-be-a-decent-journalist textbook, and I found myself faced with the rather touching exhortation to be a lion for democracy.
John Kissell
Sep 25, 2012 John Kissell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very well written, well thought out plan for journalists. It was very useful in my beginning journalism class (university level).
Nae Ayson
Jan 15, 2014 Nae Ayson rated it liked it
Jan 28, 2016 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this book and start demanding better journalism.
Jan 26, 2008 Belarius rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People Who Read Or Listen Or See
In cooperation with the Committee of Concerned Journalists, Kovach and Rosenstiel assemble the consensus in the field of journalism about what it is that journalists do. They then examine how each of those principles are affected (possibly even under threat) by the "new media" we face today.

What Kovach and Rosenstiel set out to do here is very ambitious: to outline a set of principles that define the very best journalism, to frame those principles in centuries of journalistic tradition and decad
Mar 25, 2017 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"In the end, most journalists should feel that communicating to fellow citizens is a mission that transcends the institution where they work. That it is something of a calling, and everyone who works in a newsroom is a steward of that mission."

I wish everyone interacting with the news, which is is almost everyone these days, would read this book.
Jun 13, 2017 Adenieke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really good read for a prospective journalist and it closely followed my first year journalism courses (or maybe the other way around).
Very informative read. Made me think.
Rebecca Sorriaux
Feb 04, 2015 Rebecca Sorriaux rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Titre : Principes du journalisme : ce que les journalistes doivent savoir, ce que le public doit exiger
Auteurs : Bill Kovach, Tom Rosenstiel
Editeur : Folio
Collection : Folio actuel
Date de parution : 22/01/2015
Résumé : Quels sont les principes clairs au fondement du journalisme et dont les citoyens sont en droit d'attendre le respect, pour vivre en êtres libres et autonomes ? 1. S'astreindre au respect de la vérité. 2. Servir en priorité les intérêts du citoyen. 3. Par essence, vérifier ses infor
Dorian Santiago
Jul 09, 2013 Dorian Santiago rated it really liked it
There were so many strong arguments which hold very true for contemporary journalism and the press in the United States, and their presentations were corroborated well by the great segmentation throughout all the chapters. The deconstruction of objectivity as the paramount of journalism at its most successful level was a well-executed recurring part of this book, too. I would say that this is a staple read for anyone interested in both the ever-changing and constant dynamics of journalism that h ...more
Feb 14, 2011 Jason rated it really liked it
Shelves: journalism
What we think we know influences what we do, so if journalism fails to inform, can Democracy outlast it? This is a question raised time and time again in Elements.

The authors tackle a rather open-ended question: what is journalism for? Here we get a brief history of journalism and the forces that gave rise to it, and a survey of the challenges facing journalism in the modern age. The authors' conclusion is that journalism is essential to Democracy, and yet journalism may yet get swallowed up by
Jade Geleynse
Apr 30, 2017 Jade Geleynse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic read cover-to-cover. I feel this book is truly a passing down of knowledge - and with it responsibility - during a tipping-point time for journalists. Don't pass this gem by if you're thinking about a career in journalism.
At times a bracing call to arms, at others a sobering look at the failures and triumphs of journalists, "The Elements of Journalism" by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel carries principles and implications that affect anyone involved with and affected by the news media. While it can get a little too abstract at times, the authors articulate with clear conviction why we need a press that maintains its principles and a public to ensure that it follows them. Without responsible and ethical journalists ...more
Lote L.
Jan 27, 2015 Lote L. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: journalism students and consumers
Recommended to Lote by: CJ 427
The 3rd edition is everything I've been looking for when in need of good descriptions of what is modern journalism, how it works and why it matters.

If you can't read this book as a young journalist, at least read this list and think about it, print it out and preach it (!):

1. Journalism’ first obligation is to the truth.
2. Its first loyalty is to citizens.
3. Its essence is a discipline of verification.
4. Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover.
5. It must serve as an
Feb 28, 2011 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
I just finished The Elements of Journalism and I have to say it is a very insightful, compelling and intelligent book. I picked this book up in hopes that it would help me with my senior thesis on democracy and the media and I was right. The book offered various viewpoints and ideas to help turn the press from what it is into what it should be, namely returning it to be the Fourth Estate. The authors argue that by employing the suggestions they give journalism can return to working for the publi ...more
Dec 24, 2015 Toby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This is simply great book to read to make sense of what passes as journalism in the current cycle.
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 keep the significant interesting and relevant

It must keep
Apr 08, 2009 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Through the use of hundreds of interviews with people in journalism and data from polls and other primary/secondary source goodness, Kovach examines the core principles that (should) guide journalists in their news reporting duties. He explains the role of the media in society and how it has become what it is today, and he goes into what we as consumers expect from a news organization. "New Media" is increasingly filling that void, which Kovach also examines, though he is more wary about it than ...more
Aug 29, 2011 Shannon rated it really liked it
It was pretty good. I enjoyed the examples it presented for each principle/element it outlined and an analysis of what we can do to achieve these principles. Yet I didn't like how the book seemed to act as if it was the ultimate authority on how to solve all of the newsrooms' problems. It would say, "We must..." or "If we follow the principles outlined in the book..." and did not present anyone else's opinions on how to change, fix, or better modern journalism. I feel confident that these people ...more
~ Odette Knappers
Apr 13, 2015 ~ Odette Knappers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is the bible of journalism, with its 10 rules. I'm glad I've studied this book for my thesis, since it wasn't compulsory on school. You learn these rules in the first few weeks on journalism school and everybody talks about them, but you don't have to read the whole book. Weird, huh? At least, that's what I hought. Now that I've read the book I realise it is not that great, but it still is an iconic book and it's not bad. At least I don't feel stupid anymore for never having read it :)
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