Principles of American Journalism : An Introduction book cover
2nd Edition

Principles of American Journalism
An Introduction

ISBN 9781138910317
Published April 1, 2016 by Routledge
270 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Designed to engage, inspire and challenge students while laying out the fundamentals of the craft, Principles of American Journalism introduces readers to the core values of journalism and its singular role in a democracy. From the First Amendment to Facebook, the new and revised edition of this popular textbook provides a comprehensive exploration of the guiding principles of journalism and what makes it unique:

  • the profession's ethical and legal foundations;
  • its historical and modern precepts;
  • the economic landscape of journalism;
  • the relationships among journalism and other social institutions;
  • the key issues and challenges that contemporary journalists face.

Case studies, exercises, and an interactive companion website encourage critical thinking about journalism and its role in society, making students more mindful practitioners of journalism and more informed media consumers.

Table of Contents

1. The Mirror, the Watchdog, and the Marketplace 2. What is Journalism? 3. How is News Made? 4. Who Pays for Journalism? 5. New Voices, New Models 6. What do Journalists Owe Us? 7. The Foundations of Free Expression 8. A Declaration of Journalistic Independence

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Stephanie Craft is Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before earning a doctorate in Communication from Stanford University, she worked as a newspaper journalist in California, Arkansas, and Washington.

Charles N. Davis is the dean of Grady College at the University of Georgia, and is the former executive director for the National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC), headquartered at the Missouri School of Journalism. In 2008, Davis was named the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Teacher of the Year.


"This revised edition of Principles of American Journalism examines journalism’s past, present, and future to underscore the essential functions that journalism fulfills in a democracy. The book’s conversational tone is allied to ample testimonies from journalists in the field, making it an accessible and engaging text for journalism students." –Ryan Thomas, Missouri School of Journalism

"Craft and Davis adeptly articulate the importance of journalism in society through its history, impact, successes and challenges, particularly in the significant changes revolutionizing the field today. No other book boils this down as succinctly and clearly. Their book should be required reading for anyone considering a career in journalism.

New sections illuminate the rapidly changing media landscape, including industry changes in ownership, an update to the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics, and the effects of social media on news. Nobody else covers so much material in such a clear, concise way, bolstered by professionals’ real stories and practical assignments for learning the craft." –David Cuillier, University of Arizona

"Principles of American Journalism is still the most up-to-date, relevant book for teaching the fundamentals of journalism and innovations in the profession. Every word of this book will serve students as they prepare to enter the workforce and practice responsible and ethical journalism." – Meredith Cummings, University of Alabama

"The second edition of Craft and Davis’ Principles of American Journalism is the perfect primer for the journalism student of today or those simply interested in learning more about the ever-changing field. The authors provide easily understandable, thoughtful, and in-depth insight into what journalism is and the critically important role it plays in a democratic society." – Cam Haden Stone, Texas Tech University

"Craft and Davis offer a roadmap to understanding how the principles of American journalism are a way of seeing things. They are about ideals. This book is an honest yet aspirational account of what journalism is and what it can be. Craft and Davis return to the past to discover a future where journalists do more than just good work. Journalism changes, and journalists keep doing the work that must be done in order for democracy to flourish." –Wendy Weinhold, Coastal Carolina University