100 articles that every journalist should read

13 October 2011

Written by: Matt de Neef

The ‘100 articles’ project

Well, we’ve finally done it. After four semesters, upstart’s quest to collate a list of the 100 articles every journalist should read about journalism has been realised. We’re not pretending that the result is some immutable verdict, but we hope that it will stimulate discussion and provide a resource for anyone with an interest in journalism.

Most of the commentaries that you can link to below have been written by La Trobe University Bachelor of Journalism and Master of Global Communications students, but they haven’t done it all on their own. Contributions have been offered (and gracefully accepted) from students and journalists from all over Australia, as well as Europe and the USA.

The list begins with a discussion about an 1842 article on censorship by Karl Marx (like Tony Abbott, he too, was once a journalist), and concludes with a commentary on an article by Canadian journalist Craig Silverman on how some of the most widely read publications in the world got it so wrong in their first reports of the tragic massacre in Norway earlier this year.

One of the most enjoyable things about curating this project has been the realisation of what’s possible if you embrace what Jeff Jarvis has described as ‘the new Golden Rule of Links in journalism — link unto others’ good stuff as you would have them link unto your good stuff.’ We’ve also been encouraged by the enthusiasm the 100 articles concept has generated both in Australia and the rest of the world.

So a big thanks to everyone who has been involved with this collaborative endeavour. We hope it’s at least a step in the right direction of living up to our own mission: to be a site for emerging journalists, wherever you are.

Lawrie Zion

100 articles that every journalist should read about journalism

1. ‘Censorship’ by Karl Marx (selected by Sarah Green)

2. ‘Why is sports journalism an oxymoron?’ by E.W Mason (selected by Evan Harding)

3. ‘And then they came for me…’ by Lasantha Wickrematunge

4. ‘The Preacher’ by George Gittoes (selected by Jane Hosking)

5. ‘The people formerly known as the audience’ by Jay Rosen (selected by Maike Winters)

6. ‘Losing the news: the future of the news that feeds democracy’ by Alex Jones (selected by Madeleine Barwick)

7. ‘The shot heard ’round the industry. Backpack journalism on the rise’ by Gail Shister (selected by Aiman S. Ahmad)

8. ‘The creed of objectivity killed the news’ by Chris Hedges (selected by Anamaria Krunes)

9. ‘The Enron story that waited to be told’ by Howard Kurtz (selected by Martin Joyce)

10. ‘Mahatma Gandhi and Mass Media’ by Prof. V. S. Gupta (selected by Jane Hosking)

11. ‘War or peace journalism? Asian newspaper coverage of conflicts’ by Seow Ting Lee and Crispin C. Maslog

12. ‘Spears Naked, Hilton Nude, Lohan Panty-less Share Pulitzer Prize For Saving Journalism’ by Chris Hanson (selected by Kelly Theobald)

13. Politico‘s Mike Allen: The man the White House wakes up to’ by Mark Leibovich (selected by BackPageLead editor, Ashley Browne)

14.‘A new journalist’s creed’ by Stephen J. A. Ward (selected by Sarah Green)

15. ‘How SEO is changing journalism’ by Shane Richmond (selected by James Briggs)

16. ‘Jim Cramer Daily Show interview in three parts’ (selected by Evan Harding)

17. ‘How to write about Africa’ by Binyavanga Wainaina (selected by Dutch journalist Jaap Meijers)

18. ‘Cheerleader or Watchdog’ editorial in the journal Nature (selected by Maike Winters)

19. ‘Decline of the Foreign Correspondent’ by Pamela Constable (selected by James Briggs)

20. ‘Shattered Glass’ by by Buzz Bissinger (selected by Jean Kemshal-Bell)

21. ‘Did it ever occur to you’ by Mimi Johnson (selected by Jean Kemshal-Bell)

22. ‘Ethics: Sticky Issues in Gumshoe Journalism’ by Laurence Zuckerman and  Naushad S. Mehta (selected by Jane Hosking)

23. ‘Reporting Haiti: no sidelines in hell’ by Craig McMurtrie and Dan Sweetapple (selected by Evan Harding)

24. ‘2009 was a terrible year for free speech online’ by Clothilde Le Coz

25. ‘Reuters Social Media Guidelines’ from the Reuters Handbook of Journalism (selected by Maike Winters)

26. ‘Haunted by details missing in the struggle for objectivity’ by Peter Ellingsen (selected by Kelly Theobald)

27. ‘Life after the pay wall: ignorance ain’t bliss after all’ by Simon Dumenco (selected by Jean Kemshal-Bell)

28. ‘Citizen Journalism: democracy or chaos?’ by Michael Buerk (selected by Jane Hosking)

29. ‘Freedom of the Press – 2010 survey’ published by Freedom House (selected by Jane Hosking)

30. ‘A trilogy of articles about Twitter’ by Julie Posetti (selected by Evan Harding)

31. ‘The journalist’s creed’ by Walter Williams (selected by Sarah Green)

32. ‘Now they tell us … Parts 1, 2 & 3’ by Michael Massing (selected by Jean Kemshal-Bell)

33. ‘Supermedia: the future as “networked journalism”’ by Charlie Beckett (selected by Shashini Gamage)

34. ‘How to save the news’ by James Fallows (selected by Lawrie Zion)

35. ‘Harry’s war: it’s just a blatant PR stunt’ by Peter Wilby (selected by Kellie Mayo)

36. ‘After three months, only 35 subscriptions for Newsday’s website’ by John Koblin (selected by Kellie Mayo)

37. ‘Outfoxed’ by Glen Greenwald (selected by Jean Kemshal-Bell)

38. ‘How the news media became irrelevant. And how social media can help’ by Michael Skoler (selected by Sarah Green)

39. ‘The Write Stuff’ by Les Carlyon (selected by journalist Rob Harris)

40. ‘The role of journalists in the freedom struggle’ by Clinton Fernandes (selected by Jane Hosking)

41. ‘How to report the news’ by Charlie Brooker (selected by Matt Smith)

42. ‘Best practices in trauma reporting’ by Kevin Kawamoto (selected by Chris McNamara)

43. ‘The absence of trust’ by James Murdoch (selected by Chris McNamara)

44. ‘Using the “Steal-O-Meter” to gauge if stories steal or promote’ by Mark Glaser (selected by Jarrod Strauch)

45. ‘In defence of quality journalism’ by Martin Flanagan (selected by Chris McNamara)

46. ‘New social networking the way, oh Christ, forget it’ by The Onion (selected by Jarrod Strauch)

47. ‘Journalism students “don’t read newspapers”’ by Alan Knight via ABC News (selected by Jarrod Strauch)

48. ‘The fall of Rome: media after empire’ by Mark Scott (selected by Chris McNamara)

49. ‘Is it legal for an editor to unmask an anonymous commenter?’ by Rob Arcamona (selected by Jarrod Strauch)

50. ‘Can media get beyond reactive response to tragedy?’ by Jon Garfunkel (selected by Jarrod Strauch)

51. ‘No right way to write. Right?’ by Matthew Ricketson (selected by Chris McNamara)

52. ‘Black and white and all over?’ by Rachel Buchanan (selected by Angela Cowburn)

53. ‘All about Allison’ by Rachel Hills (selected by Chris McNamara)

54. ‘Hunger for a story v right to privacy: can the media manage both’ by Margaret Simons (selected by Tammy Lovett)

55. ‘Paxman versus Howard’ broadcast on the BBC’s Newsnight (selected by Renee Tibbs)

56. Long-Form Journalism Starts A New Chapter’ by Bobbie Johnson (selected by James Rosewarne)

57. ‘Frank Sinatra has a cold’ by Gay Talese (selected by George Galanis)

58. ‘Politics and the English Language’ by George Orwell (selected by Suzannah Marshall Macbeth)

59. ‘How Rolling Stone was able to bring down a general’ by Guy Adams (selected by Heather Rogers)

60. ‘The Robots are Coming! Oh, They’re Here’ by David Carr (selected by James Rosewarne)

61. ‘Churnalism: When press releases masquerade as newspaper stories’ by Chris Atkins (selected by Renee Tibbs)

62. ‘Tips for flood coverage’ by the Dart Centre Australasia (selected by Ashley Fritsch)

63. ‘Breaking news: Some bullshit happens somewhere’ by The Onion News Network (selected by Matt Smith)

64. ‘Federer as religious experience’ by David Foster Wallace (selected by George Galanis)

65. ‘Embedded journalism: a distored view of war’ by Patrick Cockburn (selected by Suzannah Marshall Macbeth)

66. ‘The Hamster Wheel’ by Dean Starkman (selected by Carlton Purvis)

67. ‘The need to protect the internet from ‘astroturfing’ grows ever more urgent’ by George Monbiot (selected by James Rosewarne)

68. ‘A final chat with Lester Bangs’ by Jim DeRogatis (selected by Heather Rogers)

69. ‘Don’t think – just do it’ by Ben Waterworth (selected by Lawrie Zion)

70. ‘Philip Pullman’s photograph of the decade’ by Philip Pullman (selected by Pauline Halfon)

71. ‘The perils of human rights journalism’ by Kate Allen (selected by Suzannah Marshall Macbeth)

72. ‘NFL on Fox: O’Reilly interviews Obama’ broadcast on Fox News (selected by Renee Tibbs)

73. ‘Bringing out the worst in journalists’ by Scott Stinson (selected by Khairun Hamid)

74. ‘Why I Write’ by George Orwell (selected by Terry Costello)

75. ‘I have impeached myself’ by David Frost (selected by Sindre Hellkas)

76. ‘Is this the future of journalism?’ by Jonathan Stray (selected by Suzannah Marshall Macbeth)

77. ‘Who’s a journalist? Does it matter?’ by Dan Gillmor (selected by Sofia Monkiewicz)

78. ‘The Big Takeover: How Wall Street Insiders are Using the Bailout to Stage a Revolution’ by Matt Taibbi (selected by Renee Tibbs)

79. ‘Three articles on the My Lai Massacre’ by Seymour M. Hersh (selected by Sindre Hellkas)

80. ‘The Future of Journalism’ by William Thomas Stead (selected by Tou Vue)

81. ‘“Twitter revolution” beats old-style media’ by Rob McConnell (selected by Suzannah Marshall Macbeth)

82. ‘The ethics of journalism’ by Leslie Cannold (selected by Suzannah Marshall Macbeth)

83. ‘Falling Man’ by Tom Junod (selected by Matthew Dixon)

84. ‘Paying for News? It’s nothing new’ by Jeremy W. Peters (selected by Kate Scarff)

85. ’10 Days in a Mad-House’ by Nellie Bly (selected by Bethany Morris)

86. ‘The case of the accidental tweeter’ by Bill Simmons (selected by Jonathan Wilkinson)

87. ‘Conversations with Richard Fidler: Nigel Brennan’ broadcast on ABC radio (selected by Mary-Lou Ciampa)

88. ’20 questions a journalist should ask about poll results’ by Sheldon R. Gawiser and G. Evans Witt (selected by Michael Nolan)

89. ‘The twilight of objectivity’ by Michael Kinsey (selected by Jonathan Wilkinson)

90. ‘Anchor Buddy: Mexico’s Endangered Journalists’ by Michele Martin (selected by Matthew Dixon)

91. ‘Tracing the trajectory of a scandal’ by John W. Dean (selected by Kate Scarff)

92. ‘About Me/Disclosures on Jeff Jarvis’s BuzzMachine blog’ by Jeff Jarvis (selected by Mary-Lou Ciampa)

93. ‘Behind the scenes: to publish or not?’ by David W. Dunlap (selected by Laura Carroll)

94. ‘How Kevin fell (on Twitter)’ by John Bergin (selected by Giulio Di Giorgio)

95. ‘Speak your mind. Lose your job’ by Jack Shafer (selected by Jonathan Wilkinson)

96. ‘Taking science journalism “upstream”” by Alice Bell (selected by Kate Scarff)

97. ‘To our readers: Jul. 4 1994’ by James R. Gaines (selected by Liana Neri)

98. ‘Against reviews’ by Elizabeth Gumport (selected by Alexandra Duguid)

99. ‘How Amanda Hess, TBD showed commitment to accuracy when responding to correction’ by Mallary Jean Tenore (selected by Liana Neri)

100. ‘From breaking news to baseless speculation’ by Craig Silverman (selected by Laura Carroll)