Summer Reading List for Journos

By: Rob McLean

Summer is right around the corner, and while we journalists may not have the luxury of a summer vacation, we still love to read voraciously.

Here’s a quick list of books every journalist will appreciate over the next few hot months.

  • Public Editor #1 by Daniel Okrent: This collection of columns from the New York Times’ first public editor unmasks some of the inner workings of the Grey Lady. The book dives into universal newsroom issues every journalist can appreciate.
  • The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White: You knew this one was coming. The book is standard among journalism curriculum and college English classes. As reporters and editors, we need to embrace the lessons in this little book. Worth reading annually!
  • Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72 by Hunter Thompson: Thompson’s unique style may have inspired more than a few to pursue journalism. Tim McMahan, columnist at Omaha’s alternative weekly The Reader, wrote, “Every young journalist had a copy of Fear of Loathing in Las Vegas wedged in his/her milk-crate bookcase, or better yet, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72.” This was definitely true in my case. On the Campaign Trail is a collage of quality political writing and bizarre anecdotes that may or not be true. Truly gonzo journalism at its best, and worth visiting as often (if not more often) than Strunk and White’s classic – though that’s just one person’s opinion.

What other books should journalists read this summer? Let us know in the comments!

Rob McLean is a Digital Managing Editor with Hearst Television. He has been a member of the Society of Professional Journalists since 2010 and a member of the Online News Association since 2012. Interact on Twitter: @robertmclean.

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