Beyond News

The Future of Journalism

Mitchell Stephens

Columbia University Press

Beyond News

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Pub Date: April 2014

ISBN: 9780231159388

264 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $38.00£31.95

Pub Date: April 2014

ISBN: 9780231536295

264 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $37.99£31.95

Beyond News

The Future of Journalism

Mitchell Stephens

Columbia University Press

For a century and a half, journalists made a good business out of selling the latest news or selling ads next to that news. Now that news pours out of the Internet and our mobile devices—fast, abundant, and mostly free—that era is ending. Our best journalists, Mitchell Stephens argues, instead must offer original, challenging perspectives—not just slightly more thorough accounts of widely reported events. His book proposes a new standard: "wisdom journalism," an amalgam of the more rarified forms of reporting—exclusive, enterprising, investigative—and informed, insightful, interpretive, explanatory, even opinionated takes on current events.

This book features an original, sometimes critical examination of contemporary journalism, both on- and offline, and it finds inspiration for a more ambitious and effective understanding of journalism in examples from twenty-first-century articles and blogs, as well as in a selection of outstanding twentieth-century journalism and Benjamin Franklin's eighteenth-century writings. Most attempts to deal with journalism's current crisis emphasize technology. Stephens emphasizes mindsets and the need to rethink what journalism has been and might become.
With his customary intelligence and brio, Mitchell Stephens argues for more ambitious, more valuable journalism. Stephens embodies the virtues of his hero Benjamin Franklin, writing with pungent wit and sharp insights. He has mined United States history for telling anecdotes showing that conventional news reporting is insufficient. He boldly makes the case that the interpretation of news could redeem both journalism and journalism professionals; moreover, since wisdom journalism both produces and requires knowledge, his vision sets the course for journalism education. Linda Steiner, Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland
Persuasively written and filled with telling examples, Beyond News makes a powerful case for moving beyond the traditional five W's as guidelines for journalists to the five I's of what Stephens calls wisdom journalism: informed, intelligent, interpretive, insightful, and illuminating. Loren Ghiglione, Northwestern University
This engaging book tells us how journalism must change in order to better serve the times—and the public. Stephens calls for interpretation and insight, intelligence, and illumination. Beyond News offers all of these and more. Thought-provoking and a delight to read. Geneva Overholser, senior fellow, University of Southern California, Annenberg
Definitely of value to journalism students, this book will also appeal to those interested in access to informed perspectives and the fate of the "fourth estate." Library Journal
...a feast, intelligent and candidly forthright. Publishers Weekly
Introduction: Quality Journalism Reconsidered
1. "Principles, Sentiments, and Affections": The Journalism Out of Which the United States Was Born
2. "Yesterday's Doings in All Continents": The Business of Selling News
3. "Circulators of Intelligence Merely": The Devaluation of News
4. "Bye-Bye to the Old 'Who-What-When-Where'?": The Return of Interpretation
5. "Much as One May Try to Disappear from the Work": The Argument Against Objectivity
6. "The World's Immeasurable Babblement": What Does and Does Not Make Journalism Wise
7. "Shimmering Intellectual Scoops": The Wisdom Journalist, the Journalism Organization, Their Audiences, and Our Politics
Notes
Acknowledgments
Index

Read the introduction, "Quality Journalism Reconsidered":

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About the Author

Mitchell Stephens is a professor of journalism at New York University's Arthur L. Carter Institute. His books include A History of News, named a New York Times "Notable Book of the Year"; The Rise of the Image, the Fall of the Word; Broadcast News; and Writing and Reporting the News. He has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. Much of the research for this book was completed while Stephens was a fellow at the Shorenstein Center at Harvard's Kennedy School.