The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect

Front Cover
Three Rivers Press, 2001 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 207 pages
2 Reviews
The Book That Every Citizen and Journalist Should Read

“What this book does better than any single book on media history, ethics, or practice is
weave . . . [together] why media audiences have fled and why new technology and megacorporate ownership are putting good journalism at risk.” —Rasmi Simhan, Boston Globe

“Kovach and Rosenstiel’s essays on each [element] are concise gems, filled with insights worthy of becoming axiomatic. . . . The book should become essential reading for journalism professionals and students and for the citizens they aim to serve.” —Carl Sessions Stepp, American Journalism Review

“If you think journalists have no idea what you want . . . here is a book that agrees with you. Better—it has solutions. The Elements of Journalism is written for journalists, but any citizen who wonders why the news seems trivial or uninspiring should read it.” —Marta Salij, Detroit Free Press


The elements of journalism are:
* Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth.
* Its first loyalty is to citizens.
* Its essence is a discipline of verification.
* Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover.
* It must serve as an independent monitor of power.
* It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.
* It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant.
* It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional.
* Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and The Public Should Expect

User Review  - Ryan - Goodreads

This book gets very mixed reviews. I rate it 5 stars because of the simple definition it gives of journalism: "journalism is a discipline of verification." This concept, concise and straightforward ... Read full review

Review: The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and The Public Should Expect

User Review  - Lisa Rau - Goodreads

Really more for those entrenched in journalism and public service rather than the everyday consumer, but a compelling and thorough review of the basic building blocks of "good journalism." However ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2001)

Bill Kovach is the chairman of the Committee of Concerned Journalists. Tom Rosenstiel is director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism. They are the authors of Warp Speed: America in the Age of Mixed Media.

Bibliographic information