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Saturday, July 13, 2013

If you want to understand what journalism should be...

...and if you want to know what journalism can be, read this great book — by a great writer — about one of the world's great newspapers:

Follow it up with this terrific piece in Vanity Fair: "A New Kingdom: Gay Talese Sounds Off on The New York Times — Past, Present, and Future".

Here's an appetiser — an excerpt from Gay Talese's response to the first question he is asked in the Vanity Fair interview:

GAY TALESE
Journalism is for the young. Young people who go into journalism as a calling are entering, I think, the most worthwhile profession that is possible, and the reason I say that is that there is no profession or industry or calling that tries very hard to tell the truth and to sell the truth and to make the truth make money. The truth is hard, first of all, to get. And harder still to communicate. And more hard to make money on!
  • Afterwards, visit the official Gay Talese website here and learn more about the work of this legendary journalist and novelist.
  • ADDITIONAL READING:
"Journalism: The best job in the world", by Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Editor Bill Keller on how The New York Times chooses Page 1 stories, from a brilliant series in the Times, "Talk to the Newsroom"

The amazing books that made me fall in love with journalism all over again 
  • UPDATE (April 23, 2014): Amazon has just delivered Honor Thy Father, Gay Talese's bestseller about one of America's most notorious Mafia families. According to one critic, no other book has done more to acquaint readers with the secrets, structure, wars, power plays, family lives, and fascinating, frightening personalities of the Mafia. Honor Thy Father will be placed in the Commits library... soon.

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