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6 Insightful Books Every Journalist Should Read

6 Book Every Journalist Should Read

With so much media available, there’s little struggle finding literature, but some are arguably more likely to broaden our horizons. The art of a good book is to draw the reader in, to engage and inform without need to push an ideal and deliver an insightful message regarding an issue or subject close to the author’s heart. This is similar to the aim of journalism and it’s no secret that journalists are vivacious readers, devouring countless articles of news and current events to weave into their own works for the forum of their choice.

They’re intelligent and curious and yet a number of books exist that can open even a journalist’s eyes to fresh ways to portray their stories, offering effective and non-intrusive ways to express their own passions in the written word. Below, we’ll discuss 6 Insightful Books Every Journalist Should Read, from their subject matter to how it can improve the works of the reader:


by Studs Terkel

A dissection of working class America and their thoughts on work ethic, Studs Terkel’s Working is a fascinating dive into the lives of the menial labourers, semi-skilled workers and others in a nine-part collection of brutally honest, unconnected records of how everyday Americans think. From book-binding to sex-work all the way to gravediggers, Studs Terkel offers real insights into the working public’s general opinions, what it means to individuals across the country to work while alongside their testimony, providing a working example of honest, unfiltered journalism.


Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now

by Alan Rusbridger

Journalism has changed over the years and with it, so have expectations. Alan Rusbridger takes the old and new, then brings the two into the harsh light of modern journalism, discussing how – and in many cases, why – the art of journalism has changed in the modern world. 

“Rusbridger’s work is an interesting dive into how media has evolved throughout history, and how journalists today can build on these to bring forth more in the future,” comments Eliza Holburn, a journalist OXEssays and Lia Help.


All The President’s Men

by Carl Bernstein and Bob WoodWard

Perhaps one of the largest media circuses of the 20th century, the investigation and reporting of the Watergate Scandal that led to the approval of impeachment requests of Richard Nixon. In All The President’s Men, the two reporters who doggedly followed the investigation – written in the third person – Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, give flawless commentary of their experience reporting such a potent case. A true guide to effective storytelling for any budding reporter.


The Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains

by Nickolas Carr

A pulitzer prize finalist, The Shallows delves into a psychological dissection of how the internet and all the bells and whistles that come with it have affected our brains in modern life. Starting with a detailed history of tracking the passage of time, the introduction of printing presses and eventually computing, Nicolas Carr analyses the methods by which humans internalise written word and the unexpected vulnerability of human brain plasticity, drawing psychological theory in to explain the effects in a seamless, engaging narrative.


Bad Blood: Secrets And Lies In A Silicon Valley Startup

by John Carryrou

A renowned journalist for the Wall Street Journal narrates the rise and fall of a delusional, hostile CEO with displaced dreams of grandeur at the centre of one of the biggest scandals in American history; the Theranos blood-testing startup. 

“Interspaced with personal accounts of following leads and tracking new sources, John Carryrou discusses the madness behind it with beautiful prose and strikingly raw humanity, a style any journalist could learn from,” says Steven Nate, a writer at Paper Fellows and Boomessays.


She Said: Breaking The Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite A Movement

by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey

I relevant and pertinent piece, She Said breaks into the secretive world of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein regarding the sexual harassment and alleged sexual assault claims against him. An expose that rocked the world and ignited a fire beneath the #MeToo campaign in 2017, She Said is a masterwork of modern journalism that highlights the importance of publishing divisive work for the betterment of society as a whole.

There’s always something to learn from the experience of others. These books in particular can provide invaluable insights into journalism, the minds of successful journalists and the power an article can have in changing the world around them.




Want more journalism content? Click here to view all the past blogs for journalists, by journalists. From Coffee with a Journalist to upcoming trends, we have you covered.

If you’re new to journalism, check out these 5 habits of successful journalism students to get a better understanding of the industry and how you can, and will, fit into it successfully.

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Katherine Rundell

Katherine Rundell, a journalist at and, writes about books. She’s also a proofreader at, a writing service.

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