10 reference books to boost your journalism classroom library

10 reference books to boost your journalism classroom library

It’s back-to-school time, and after a year of virtual and hybrid learning, students and teachers are clamoring to get back to something tangible. Since two class years of students may be entering the journalism classroom for the first time, JEA recommends the following books and resources as curriculum supplements, independent study and valuable on-hand references.

AP Stylebook, 2020-2022

$24.25 in the JEA Store

The 55th edition of The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law includes more than 200 new or revised entries, with chapters covering data journalism, business, religion and sports terms, as well as media law, news values, punctuation, social media and polls and surveys, plus a new chapter on digital security for journalists.

619 pages / spiral bound / 2020
ISBN: 9780917360695

The JEA Store also has copies of the 2019 AP Stylebook on sale for $20.85.

Elements of Journalism


By Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel
Updated with new material covering the rise of social media, sponsored content, and new, collaborative Web-based journalism in which anyone —professional or citizen — can produce news, and much more, this edition of “The Elements of Journalism” is an essential read for journalists, students, and anyone hoping to stay informed in the digital age.

334 pages / paperback / 2014
ISBN: 9780804136785

Inside Reporting


By Tim Harrower
No other textbook offers a more engaging and accessible approach to newswriting than Inside Reporting. While emphasizing the basics, this new edition offers a wealth of information on digital reporting and packaging stories in modern, interactive ways. It also includes more useful advice on feature writing — from stories to reviews and column-writing — than any other textbook in the field.

352 pages / paperback / 2013
ISBN: 9780073526171

Working With Words: A Handbook for Media Writers and Editors


By Brian S. Brooks, James L. Pinson and Jean Grady Wilson
Regardless of the medium, from print to broadcast to PR to digital, “Working with Words” has you covered. With a focus on improving skills in both grammar and style, this book serves as an invaluable reference for students throughout their academic and professional careers. Helping students become better journalists and media writers, the text combines news writing acumen with good, journalistic form, covering the full spectrum of writing skills from understanding basic methods of style and writing to mastering English grammar and mechanics.

464 pages / spiral / 2019
ISBN: 9781319201173

The Newspaper Designer’s Handbook, 7th edition


By Tim Harrower and Julie M. Elman
Throughout the seven editions of this book, Harrower has successfully deconstructed the process of laying out newspaper pages. For journalism students and professionals alike, countless designers have used this book to learn how to design and improve their skills as visual communicators. Harrower’s unique voice and quirky sense of humor are still very much alive in this edition.

304 pages / spiral / 2013
ISBN: 9780073512044

Journalism Next: A Practical Guide to Digital Reporting and Publishing


By Mark Briggs
The fourth edition of “Journalism Next” is updated with the latest technological innovations and media industry transformations, ensuring that Mark Briggs’ proven guide for leveraging digital technology to do better journalism keeps pace with ongoing changes in the media landscape. To keep ahead and abreast of these ever-evolving tools and techniques, Briggs offers practical and timely guidance for both the seasoned professional looking to get up to speed and the digital native looking to root their tech know-how in real journalistic principles.

344 pages / paperback / 2019
ISBN: 9781544309446

Math Tools for Journalists


By Kathleen Woodruff Wickham
This is a concise guide to mathematics from a journalist’s perspective. The book explains basic mathematical concepts from multiplication to percentages to statistics, with examples of how these concepts apply to journalism. Covers common math concepts such as percentages, statistics, business math, property taxes, polls/surveys, probability, and stocks and bonds.

188 pages / paperback / 2003
ISBN: 9780972993746

Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation


By Lynne Truss
In “Eats, Shoots & Leaves,” former editor Lynne Truss, gravely concerned about our current grammatical state, boldly defends proper punctuation. She proclaims, in her delightfully urbane, witty, and very English way, that it is time to look at our commas and semicolons and see them as the wonderful and necessary things they are. Using examples from literature, history, neighborhood signage, and her own imagination, Truss shows how meaning is shaped by commas and apostrophes, and the hilarious consequences of punctuation gone awry.

240 pages / paperback / 2006
ISBN: 9781592404889

Truss also created books for children to encourage proper punctuation usage with young leaners:
• Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference!
Eats MORE, Shoots & Leaves: Why, ALL Punctuation Marks Matter!

The New One-Minute Manager


By Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson have written “The New One Minute Manager” to introduce “The One Minute Manager’s” powerful, important lessons to a new generation. In their concise, easy-to-read story, they teach readers three very practical secrets about leading others — and explain why these techniques continue to work so well. As compelling today as the original was 30 years ago, this classic parable of a young man looking for an effective manager is more relevant and useful than ever.

112 pages / paperback / 2016
ISBN: 9788172234997

The Doodle Revolution: Unlock the Power to Think Differently


By Sunni Brown
What did Einstein, JFK, Edison, Marie Curie, and Henry Ford have in common? They were all inveterate doodlers. These powerhouse minds knew instinctively that doodling is deep thinking in disguise — a simple, accessible, and dynamite tool for innovating and solving even the stickiest problems.

Sunni Brown’s mission is to bring the power of the Doodle to the rest of us. She leads the Revolution defying all those parents, teachers and bosses who say Stop doodling! Get serious! Grow up! She overturns misinformation about doodling, demystifies visual thinking, and shows us the power of applying our innate visual literacy. She’ll teach you how to doodle any object, concept or system imaginable, shift habitual thinking patterns and transform boring text into displays that can engage any audience.

272 pages / paperback / 2015
ISBN: 9781591847038

Other great resources

The Professional Reporter’s Notebook

$18.70 per dozen in the JEA Store

11/32 inch Gregg Line Spacing (printed on both Sides). Measures 4 inches wide by 8 inches Tall. 70 Sheets (140 Pages) per notebook. Extra thick covers provide stability when writing — allowing you to stand and take notes. Sold by the dozen.

First Amendment posters and pins

$2.20 — 12×12 inch poster
$1.10 — 2-inch pin (also available for $11 per dozen)

45words represents the 45 important words of our First Amendment. These words contain the five freedoms that all Americans cherish. The logo is printed on a black background with 45 in yellow and the letters in white. The five freedoms also are in yellow.

Face masks

$5 in the JEA Store

Add some journalistic style to your personal protection accessories. The mask is three layers of cotton comfort, adhering to the CDC mask guidelines.

Available in five styles and a variety of colors, while supplies last.

  • Five Freedoms
  • Newspaper Work Night
  • Yearbook Work Night
  • Journalism Matters
  • On Air

Best of High School Press, 23

$16.35 in the JEA Store

By National Scholastic Press Association
Great for inspiration — this annual full-color collection contains excellent work from NSPA member publications, including winners of Pacemakers and other NSPA contests. Now includes CD-ROM with JPEG files of images from the book, for educational use in handouts and presentations.

176 pages / hardcover with DVD-ROM / 2017
ISBN: 9780996285315

While the Journalism Education Association has ended the JEA Bookstore due to competitive online vendors, JEA continues to recommend classroom resources through the JEA Store and website. If you have a classroom media resource to recommend, email porter@jea.org.

As an Amazon Associate, the Journalism Education Association earns from qualifying purchases on books and products we recommend to members.

Founded in 1924, JEA supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities, promoting professionalism, encouraging and rewarding student excellence and teacher achievement, and an atmosphere which encompasses diversity yet builds unity. It is headquartered at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.

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