The Great Reporters

The Great Reporters

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'Entertaining, amusing, even inspirational. Above all, what every good reporter aims to deliver, a great read.' Peter Cole, Professor of Journalism at the University of Sheffield 'American newsrooms need to buy this inspiring book by the carton. David Randall's gripping collection of profiles in inky courage demonstrates that our current malaise amounts to ignorance of the perpetual siege of newsrooms by the powerful and the parsimonious. "The Great Reporters" is rich with the kind of lore that needs to inform the culture of newspaper journalism." Dean Miller, The Poynter Institute for Media Studies Who are the greatest reporters in history? This unique book is the first to try and answer this question. Author David Randall searched nearly two centuries of newspapers and magazines, consulted editors and journalism experts worldwide, and the result is The Great Reporters - 13 in-depth profiles of the best journalists who ever lived. They include nine Americans and four Britons, ten men and three women, whose lives were full of adventure, wit, and the considerable ingenuity required to bring the story home.
Among chapters are those on the reporter who: * Booked himself onto a ship likely to be sunk by the Germans so he could report its torpedoing * Was called out to a multiple shooting, who interviewed 50 witnesses, went back to the office, and wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning story of 4,000 words in two and a half hours * Was deemed useless by her teacher but who went on to become the greatest crime reporter in history * Wrote a story that changed the map of Europe * Out-bluffed a top Soviet official to get into Russia so he could cover the appalling famine there * Feigned madness to get herself locked up in an asylum so she could expose its terrible conditions * Was the best ever to apply words to newsprint * Became a national hero in America because he stood up for the little guy and his war reporting told it like it really was * At the age of 63, and after three major operations, went under-cover in Iran so she could report on the regime's repression * Was nearly fired for fouling up his first major assignment, but went on to shock his nation with his courageous war reporting * Wrote faster than anyone who could write better and better than anyone who could write faster * Single-handedly took on the tobacco industry * Said no to William Randolph Hearst Each profile tells of the reporter's life and his or her major stories, how they were obtained, and their impact.
Packed with anecdotes, and inspiring accounts of difficulties overcome, the book quotes extensively from each reporter's work. It also includes an essay on the history of reporting, charting the technologies, economics, and attitudes that made it the way it is - from the invention of the telegraph to the Internet. The Great Reporters is not just the story of 13 remarkable people, it is the story of how society's information hunter-gatherers succeed in bringing us all what we need to know.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 19.56mm | 435.45g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745322964
  • 9780745322964
  • 757,928

Table of contents

Introduction How the great reporters were chosen 1. The World of the Reporter How, when and where the job has changed in 150 years 2. Meyer Berger The reporters' reporter 3. Nellie Bly The best undercover reporter in history 4. Edna Buchanan The best crime reporter there's ever been 5. James Cameron The definitive foreign correspondent 6. Richard Harding Davies One of the best descriptive reporters ever 7. Floyd Gibbons The supreme example of a reporter in pursuit of an assignment 8. Ann Leslie The most versatile reporter ever 9. AJ Liebling The most quotable wit ever by-lined 10. JA MacGahan Perpetrator of perhaps the greatest piece of reporting ever 11. Hugh McIlvanney The best writer ever to apply words to newsprint 12. Ernie Pyle The reporter who never forgot who he was writing for 13. William Howard Russell The man who invented war corresponding 14. George Seldes A reporter who got up the noses of the high and mighty Index
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Review quote

David Randall knows journalism and loves journalism. He understands journalism from the inside but has also managed to maintain a principled detachment, brilliantly evidenced in his Universal Journalist, on every reading list where journalism is taught. The Great Reporters is both a work of respect and of analysis. He has asked what makes a great reporter, and has been shamelessly subjective in his selection. They are all characters, and the stories about them are as fascinating as the stories they told. Entertaining, amusing, even inspirational. Above all, what every good reporter aims to deliver, a great read. -- Peter Cole, professor of journalism at the University of Sheffield This book would be worth reading just for the account of how Meyer Berger, a New York Times reporter, spent six hours interviewing people about a killing spree by a young army veteran which left 12 neighbours and passers-by dead. Berger then went back to the paper and in two and a half hours wrote a 4,000-word account for the first edition, with not a word changed by the editor. He won a Pullitzer Prize for the report. There are other revelations. 'I doubt if one journalism student in 10,000 knows his name,' Randall writes about another of his selections, J.A.MacGahan. The impact of MacGahan's reports from Bulgaria on the Turkish atrocities after a Bulgarian uprising against the Turks, which appeared in the London Daily News in the summer of 1876 is well described. It was news reporting which literally changed the map of Europe. Russia launched a war against Turkey in the spring of 1877 and the nations of Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro and Romania came into being. It is a difficult, indeed perilous, task to select the 'thirteen best journalists who ever lived' and one could disagree with some of the journalists chosen - nine Americans and four Britons. But that is not to deny David Randall's enthusiasm and clarity in presenting his selection. A couple of complaints. Reading the book whets the appetite to find out more about some of the journalists but there is no bibliography to help the reader. Also, whilst Randall quotes some chunks of text by the journalists, it would have been good to have complete articles to read by them. That said, if you want to find out more about George Seldes, Nelly Bly or Ernie Pyle this is the book. -- Campaign for Press & Broadcasting Freedom The Great Reporters tells the stories of 13 of the world's most famous newspaper journalists. The book focuses on Americans such as Ernie Pyle and Meyer Berger and Brits such as Hugh McIlvanney - journalists who took chances to better inform the public. This particular excerpt looks at the life of Edna Buchanan, a Pullitzer Prize winning Miami Herald crime reporter whose workhorse attitude and shrewd writing helped her achieve the recognition she has today. -- Doug Wernert, The Michigan Daily They crusaded against Big Tobacco, covered world wars and locked themselves away in mental asylums to expose the truth. In The Great Reporters, David Randall, assistant editor at The Independent in London, provides in-depth profiles of 13 people who, in his estimation, are the greatest story chasers in newspaper history. Randall says he wrote The Great Reporters because he found there was a lack of works, especially in Great Britiain, that included these role models. -- Presstime Stop whining about profit margins and read this book. American newsrooms need to buy this inspiring book by the carton. David Randall's gripping collection of profiles in inky courage demonstrates that our current malaise amounts to ignorance of the perpetual siege of newsrooms by the powerful and the parsimonious. The Great Reporters (a marvelous allusion to subject George Seldes' useful books) is rich with the kind of lore that needs to inform the culture of newspaper journalism. -- Dean Miller, The Poynter Institute for Media Studies
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About David Randall

David Randall is a British journalist who has written for four national newspapers, news editing three of them. He is now news executive and senior writer at the Independent on Sunday, covering major national and international stories. He has lectured in journalism all over the world, and writes a column for Internazionale in Italy.
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Rating details

39 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 33% (13)
4 36% (14)
3 23% (9)
2 5% (2)
1 3% (1)
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