memory's sacred domain

moments mundane and magical

So, what’s on your list?

leave a comment »

It’s less than two months before Christmas. No wonder people are beginning to make their list of things. For his part, Dean Nicholar Lemann of the venerable  Columbia Graduate School of Journalism has made a list of books journalists of the future should be able to read to be able to navigate the brave new world of journalism in the 21st century.

At least  I can say I’ve made my own list well before Dean Lemann did, and posted it as a note on Facebook (stamped on the note is the record of the date of posting — September 22, 2010). It seems his brilliant mind has met mine on at least two points. Two books I rated in my list as must-reads — Dispatches, by Michael Herr, and Berlin Diary, by William Shirer — are on his list too.

Click here to go to Dean Lemann’s list, published in the Columbia Journalism Review.

Scroll down for a re-post of my Facebook note:

The Journalism List: Personal (Re)Collections

I recently spoke in an ACLE session at my undergraduate alma mater, UP Mass Comm – a pinch-hitter for my boss. I thought the invite was for me to give an update on the Maguindanao massacre case; instead I found myself talking to students half my age about my former life as a journalist, and what I thought they should be reading to prepare themselves for such a demanding profession (predictably, none of them seemed to have read or heard about any of the authors I mentioned at the talk). After the talk, I decided to make a list of the books on journalism I thought any journalism student should read. The list is only of foreign authors (most of them American). A good number are memoirs written by journalism greats and they are valuable for the insights they give on the nature of journalism as a profession. In a word, they are windows to an expanded vision of the field. The others are anthologies of reportage. I added two books written on what it means to have a free press – the first was by a lawyer who argued before the US Supreme Court a landmark case on free speech and the second, by a long-time justice reporter for the New York Times, who covered the same case and wrote an important book about it. There is one work of fiction by a British novelist who at one time worked as a war correspondent in Ethiopia. His novel was a thinly-disguised account of his experiences there. Another book is by an Italian radical whose work presents a nice counter-point to the liberal democratic perspective that dominates thinking on journalism.  I only included books I have in my personal library, acquired for the most part in nearly two decades of raiding used book shops from all over the place. In the next few days, I’ll probably add more to this list, as the ones included here are what I can remember for now. I am sorry to say my collection of Filipiniana on journalism is rather slim but I just might later on make a separate list for Filipino works.

Vincent Sheean, Personal History

Theodore White, In Search of History: A Personal Adventure

Harrison Salisbury, A Time of Change

Philip Knightley, The First Casualty

Reporting, Lillian Ross

Reporting Back, Lillian Ross

Dispatches, Michael Herr

The World of Jimmy Breslin

Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You that tomorrow we will be killed with our families

Pete Hamill, News is A Verb: Journalism at the end of the 20th century

Pete Hamill, A Drinking Life

William Shirer, Berlin Diary: The Journal of A Foreign Correspondent

Ben Bagdikian, Double Vision

H.L. Mencken, Thirty-Five Years of Newspaper Work: A Memoir

Martha Gellhorn, Travels with Myself and Another: A Memoir

Evelyn Waugh, Scoop

John Hersey, Hiroshima

Lincoln Steffens. “The Shame of the Cities.” 1902-1904

John Reed. Ten Days That Shook the World.

James Agee and Walker Evans. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

John McPhee. The John McPhee Reader.

Russel Baker, Growing Up

Hannah Arendt. Eichmann in Jerusalem.

Norman Mailer. The Armies of the Night.

Joan Didion. Slouching Towards Bethlehem

I.F. Stone, The Best of I.F. Stone

An American Album: One Hundred Fifty Years of Harper’s Magazine

Floyd Abrams, Speaking Freely: The Trials of the First Amendment

Anthony Lewis, Make No Law: The Sullivan Case and the First Amendment

Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks

Michael Ignatieff, The Warrior’s Honor: Ethnic War and the Modern Conscience

The Crimes of War Project Handbook

Robert Coles, Children of Crisis

Robert Coles, The Call of Stories and the Moral Imagination

Granta Magazine Issue No. 53 (News)

Granta Magazine Issue No. 58 (Ambition)

Paul Theroux, The Great Railway Bazaar

Tom Wolfe, The New Journalism

Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

Gary Wills, Lead Time: A Journalist’s Education

St. Augustine, Confessions

Richard Selzer, Mortal Lessons

Flannerry O’Connor, The Habit of Being: Letters

Carlo Levi, Christ Stopped at Eboli

Czeslaw Milosz, To Begin Where I Am

Tracy Kidder, The Soul of  a New Machine

Written by Romel

November 3, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: