Journalism: A Very Short Introduction

Hargreaves, Ian
Publisher:  Oxford University Press, New York, USA
Year Published:  2005   First Published:  2003
Pages:  164pp   Price:  $9.95   ISBN:  0-19-280656-4
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX7033

Ian Hargreaves discusses the history, development, future and ethics of journalism and describes journalists' relationship with the public.

Abstract:  This book is a part of the Very Short Introductions series and is written by one of Britain's top journalists who is also a Professor of Journalism at Cardiff University. He has held senior positions at the BBC, the Financial Times, the Independent and the New Statesman. In this short introduction to Journalism, Ian Hargreaves discusses the history, development, future and ethics of journalism and describes journalists' relationship with the public. He focuses on the increase in journalism's influence and the criticism thrown at journalism today by all sectors of society including politicians, philosophers, religious groups, the general public and journalists themselves.

The book contains several photographs of newspaper clippings and famous editors along with other related illustrations. There is a list of "deadliest countries" for journalists in the first chapter which begins by describing dangers faced by journalists worldwide and the many deaths that go unnoticed. The book goes on to cover a wide variety of topics related to journalism including tabloid news, investigative reporting, war coverage and journalism as entertainment. Hargreaves makes some interesting comments about journalism as entertainment and journalists as celebrities. He says that often journalists are stars in their own eyes as well as the public's, heroes setting the world to rights. He gives the example of Clark Kent, the reporter who saves the world as Superman, as a popular symbol of this viewpoint. The book is full of many similar interesting connections and examples.

Other significant issues in the book include threats to journalism in today's world and the role of political and economical factors in influencing what is written/reported. War reporting is discussed in some detail as is government censorship regarding it. The book describes how and why war reporting has become more visual and violent images more prevalent than before. Overall, it is an interesting, thorough and easy to understand discussion of the various aspects of journalism.

[Abstract by Nabeeha Chaudhary]

Subject Headings