Principles of American Journalism

An Introduction

By Stephanie Craft, Charles N. Davis

© 2013 – Routledge

248 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415890175
pub: 2013-02-05
Hardback: 9780415890168
pub: 2013-02-06

Look Inside Comp Exam Copy Companion Website

About the Book

In a rapidly changing media landscape, what becomes of journalism? Designed to engage, inspire and challenge students while laying out the fundamental principles of the craft, Principles of American Journalism introduces students to the core values of journalism and its singularly important role in a democracy. From the First Amendment to Facebook, Stephanie Craft and Charles N. Davis provide a comprehensive exploration of the guiding principles of journalism—the ethical and legal foundations of the profession, its historical and modern precepts, the economic landscape, the relationships among journalism and other social institutions, and the key issues and challenges that contemporary journalists face. Case studies, discussion questions and field exercises help students to think critically about journalism’s function in society, creating mindful practitioners of journalism and more informed media consumers.

With its bottom line under assault, its values being challenged from without and from within and its future anything but certain, it has never been more important to think about what’s unique about journalism. This text is ideal for use in introductory Principles of Journalism courses, and the companion website provides a full complement of student and instructor resources to enhance the learning experience and connect to the latest news issues and events.


"Craft and Davis’s Principles of American Journalism could be subtitled ‘Everything you really need to understand about journalism but didn’t think to ask.’ Students will surely appreciate its lively conversational style; the authors’ sense of humor, as well as their passion for great journalism, comes through on every page."

Kim Walsh-Childers, University of Florida

"Principles of American Journalism should be mandatory reading for every journalism student, especially in an era when good journalism is sometimes lost in a cacophony of media messages. With passion for their subject and a no-nonsense approach, Craft and Davis cut through the mass-communication clutter, underlining the importance of journalism in a democratic society and the challenges it faces in the 21st century."

Janice Hume, University of Georgia

"Principles of American Journalism is a thoughtful introduction to journalism and to its critical role in a democracy. As the technology and economics of journalism change in profound ways, students need to understand the fundamental principles that guide journalism in this country and why they are needed more than ever."

Ford Risley, Penn State University

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

About the Authors

Stephanie Craft is Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. 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 School. In 2008, Davis was named the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Teacher of the Year.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies