Excellence in Online Journalism
Exploring Current Practices in an Evolving Environment
- David A. Craig - University of Oklahoma, USA
Like the technologies that support it, the craft of online journalism is evolving quickly. This timely book helps students develop standards of excellence, through interviews with more than 30 writers, editors and producers, and dozens of examples of strong work. The author provides a framework of concepts to show how the field is evolving and challenged by competition, staffing limitations, and other pressures. Discussion is organized around four key elements: speed and accuracy with depth in breaking news; comprehensiveness in multimedia content; open-endedness in story development, including public contributions; and conversation with users. Chapter-length treatments of these topics bring home the realities of online work to students, who also come to appreciate how excellence and ethics online go hand in hand.
"I think it is a great idea and will fill a need, both for my class and other, more skills-oriented online journalism courses. I like that it includes ethics but goes beyond that – the four elements of excellence on the Web go to the unique characteristics of the medium and therefore give students something new to think about and discuss, whether from the viewpoint of journalists or as media consumers. ... The book, by looking specifically at opportunities and challenges of ethical journalism ONLINE, will contribute to understanding both journalism ethics (because there are new challenges online) and the general practice of online journalism."
“Reading about the practices and insights of working professionals is the book’s greatest appeal. Chapters are richly detailed and address significant issues in online journalism. The writing is brisk and highly readable, and the examples are well chosen.”
“The greatest benefit is Craig’s focus on the interrelated nature of the multiple forms of information presentation and the need for practitioners to move beyond the traditional journalism model.”
"Excellence in Online Journalism provides a great deal of concrete information for students. Its grounding in the tradition of journalism ethics makes it particularly valuable since the ethics become so well integrated into the practice. Students should easily learn that becoming an ethical reporter will make them a better reporter. Those teaching online journalism will do their students a good service by considering this book."
"Craig uses the philosophical approach of the Notre Dame scholar Alasdair MacIntyre as applied by the media ethicists Sandra Borden and, to a lesser extent, Edmund Lambeth. This philosophical approach allows for the consideration of developing standards in the digital era, challenging some old rules while incorporating most of them into a rede?nition.”
“Institutions, such as media companies, come in for criticism when the balance of quality and pro?t get out of whack. Craig does a good job providing examples of how the professionals he interviewed attempt to keep quality in the product.”
“Craig’s book is appropriate in a journalism ethics course, although I would be tempted to assign it in an advanced multimedia reporting class to flesh out the ethical dimensions of a journalist’s decision making while showcasing the new best practices.”
'This handbook will be welcome on any practical journalism course, especially at colleges that embrace the potential for theory-practice synergies. Its thoughtful approach via four elements of excellence, and the idea of external and internal goods, admirably situates thinking about journalism at the heart of doing it. [...] This book is remarkably up to date and should remain that way thanks to its companion website'
A very useful addition to the literature. Practical examples and invaluable advice from experience4d practitioners.
The book is good and I found its perspective on the experience of professional journalists adapting to online platforms highly valuable. However, I was considering it as a supplemental text in my news writing course, and it definitely requires a higher level of expertise and commitment to the field than my students currently possess. I will be passing it on to a colleague who does research in online journalism - she may find it more useful in her work. Thank you.
Sample Materials & Chapters
4. Comprehensiveness in Content
5. Open-Endedness in Story Development