13 Best Journalism Writing Reference

List Updated May 2020

Bestselling Journalism Writing Reference in 2020


What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism

What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism
BESTSELLER NO. 1 in 2020

The Truth Matters: A Citizen's Guide to Separating Facts from Lies and Stopping Fake News in Its Tracks

The Truth Matters: A Citizen's Guide to Separating Facts from Lies and Stopping Fake News in Its Tracks
BESTSELLER NO. 2 in 2020

The True Story of Fake News: How Mainstream Media Manipulates Millions

The True Story of Fake News: How Mainstream Media Manipulates Millions
BESTSELLER NO. 3 in 2020

Pure Land: A True Story of Three Lives, Three Cultures and the Search for Heaven on Earth

Pure Land: A True Story of Three Lives, Three Cultures and the Search for Heaven on Earth
BESTSELLER NO. 4 in 2020

Highbrow, Lowbrow, Brilliant, Despicable: Fifty Years of New York Magazine

Highbrow, Lowbrow, Brilliant, Despicable: Fifty Years of New York Magazine
BESTSELLER NO. 5 in 2020

Fifty Years of 60 Minutes: The Inside Story of Television's Most Influential News Broadcast

Fifty Years of 60 Minutes: The Inside Story of Television's Most Influential News Broadcast
BESTSELLER NO. 6 in 2020

The Best American Sports Writing 2017 (The Best American Series ®)

The Best American Sports Writing 2017 (The Best American Series ®)
BESTSELLER NO. 7 in 2020

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
BESTSELLER NO. 8 in 2020
  • Anchor Books

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
BESTSELLER NO. 9 in 2020

The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage, 5th Edition: The Official Style Guide Used by the Writers and Editors of the World's Most Authoritative News Organization

The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage, 5th Edition: The Official Style Guide Used by the Writers and Editors of the World's Most Authoritative News Organization
BESTSELLER NO. 10 in 2020

7 Days to a Byline that Pays - Your secret weapon to writing articles and blogs that pay (Writing With Excellence)

7 Days to a Byline that Pays - Your secret weapon to writing articles and blogs that pay (Writing With Excellence)
BESTSELLER NO. 11 in 2020

50 Years of Rolling Stone: The Music, Politics and People that Changed Our Culture

50 Years of Rolling Stone: The Music, Politics and People that Changed Our Culture
BESTSELLER NO. 12 in 2020
  • ABRAMS

Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World

Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World
BESTSELLER NO. 13 in 2020

Preemptive Strike: A Different Type of News Coverage of Bird Flu

Health journalism is often about crises. Here's a story about officials working to prevent one.

The article relies almost entirely on information from a World Health Organization specialist, who has a medical background and seems to span the gap between the medical and public health realms that Petya Eckler talked about in her lecture. The article does not provide other perspectives, which makes me wonder whether there is largely consensus on this topic or if there are prominent differing opinions from other medical or public health professionals that just aren't mentioned.

The article's statistics are in terms of incidence rather than prevalence. Prevalence might be more relevant in this story, since the point is many Egyptians could already have the virus without knowing it. However, it's probably difficult to estimate the prevalence of a rather new-and therefore not extensively researched-disease like the bird flu.

One question I had was about the status of the bird flu today: which countries are most affected and to what extent? How have the virus's patterns changed since the media blitz died down? The article doesn't answer these questions, presumably because of space limitations. However, I think this information would have made for a more complete report with better context.

The article mentions a rise in infected children, an angle that some reporters might be tempted to emphasize in an effort to "humanize" the story. I think this is a case where this sort of "humanization" was correctly avoided, because the main point is not that helpless victims exist, but rather the opposite: the public health officials are taking a proactive approach. I think a straight news story works well for this topic, but if a reporter should want to humanize it, s/he should focus on one of the disease specialists rather than the victims.

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