On the nightstand: Books on journalism and multimedia

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I have a stack of books on my nightstand just waiting to be read, including Tanner Stranksy’s Find Your Inner Ugly Betty: 25 Career Lessons for Young Professionals Inspired by TV Shows and Not In My Family: AIDS in the African American Community, edited by Gil L. Robertson IV. But not surprisingly most of the books to be read are about journalism and/or new media. Here are the books I plan to read as soon as I find time to crack them open.

Audition: A Memoir

Barbara Walters

Never mind the titillating affair with the senator, the countless crying celebrities and the incessant plugging of the book on Babs’ daytime show The View, I am most interested in reading this book on the plight of one the first female nightly news anchors. My point of reference for the golden age of newsmaking is the movie Anchorman, so I look forward to reading a fresh and insightful take on how broadcast newsrooms functioned in their heyday.

The Future of the Internet–And How to Stop It

Jonathan Zittrain

I honestly bought this book on the title alone. But as I read blurbs and reviews of the book I purchased, I realized Zittrain’s discussion of the ubiquity of the internet and its eventual downward spiral made me feel guilty for staring noncommittally at its cover every night. A part of the reason I don’t get to read as many books as I would like to is because of the internet. The irony of taking time away from browsing the internet to read a book about the internet is not lost on me.

Making Online News: The Ethnography of New Media Production

Edited by Chris Paterson and David Domingo

The most recent addition to my collection of unread literature, I was intrigued by its description on Amazon: “This book investigates the production of online news [and] how it differs from traditional media production.” That’s preaching to the converted, but I’m always looking for new arguments to show the last few holdouts the light that is new media journalism.

And two classics worth re-reading:

We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People

Dan Gillmor
(preview available online)

I was first handed this book while taking a new media course at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and was none to pleased to have yet another thing to read. But as I sat on the BART train I became so enraptured on this history of multimedia journalism that I nearly missed my stop…twice. We the Media is well-researched without being condescending or heavy, which makes it a great read for any journalist. When people ask why I don’t write a book on multimedia journalism, I usually reply that Dan Gillmor has done such a great job that it would be hard to top.

Flash Journalism: How to Create Multimedia News Packages

Mindy McAdams
(preview available online)

One of the first books I was ever recommended as a budding multimedia journalist was McAdams’ Flash Journalism. And because no one told me Flash would be such a major part of my work life, I was sincerely glad I read it. Much like 10,000 words, the book is fundamental for journalists who are looking to transition into the technical side of the field, but are worried they don’t have the necessary skills. Most importantly the book focuses on storytelling, which is the foundation for any good news story, Flash or not.

If you’re considering publishing your own book, but don’t quite have a publishing deal, consider self-publishing with Wordclay or just start writing! Here’s an additional hint: What do many of the aforementioned books have in common? Colons! So be sure to include one in your book’s title for good luck.

ETA: Just purchased a copy of Multimedia Journal by Richard Koci Hernandez, which was suggested by a friend this morning. The pile of books is growing, but I think its focus on exercises to stimulate the multimedia process is something that’s been missing from store shelves.

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