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Excellence in Online Journalism: Exploring Current Practices in an Evolving Environment

by David A Craig SAGE Publications, Inc
Pub Date:
Pbk 192 pages
AU$109.00 NZ$112.17
Product Status: Out of stock. Not available to order.
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For today's students and journalists, knowing how to build a Web site is not enough -- knowing how to craft a news story for maximum impact via the Web is a must in today's media-saturated world. Drawing on interviews from more than 30 award-winning online journalists, editors, and producers (from such operations as,, and, author David Craig helps students understand the meaning, importance,and elements of journalistic excellence in today's online environment.

Organized around four elements of online excellence--comprehensiveness, speed and accuracy, open-endedness in story development, and conversation with users--the book provides detailed discussions of multimedia projects, blogs, user-generated content, and breaking news. In addition, it examines the connection between ethics and excellence in order to more critically evaluate the work and practices of online journalism.

Key Features

•The book explores the practical and theoretical importance of focusing on excellent work in online journalism and the barriers to excellence -- particularly important at a time when the definition of a journalist is shifting and the standards of online journalism are not fully established.
•Through extensive use of quotes and examples, the book shows how seasoned professionals think about elements of Web journalism and provides specific models of excellence to which students can apply their technical skills.

1. Excellence Online: A Work in Progress
Excellence in Old and New Media
Excellence Online: Four Developing Standards
2. An Ethical Lens for Looking at Excellence
A Practice: The Social Context
Telos: The Big-Picture Goal
Internal Goods: Distinctive Achievements of the Practice
Standards of Excellence: Setting the Bar for the Field
Virtues: The Qualities of Good Character
External Goods and Institutions: Danger Lurking
3. Speed and Accuracy With Depth in Breaking News
The Battle to Be Fast and Right: An Old Challenge With New Pressures
Insights from Online Journalists: Giving Voice to a Standard
Breaking News Through an Ethical Lens
Online Excellence in Development: The Hudson River Jet Landing
Challenges to Maintaining and Enhancing Excellence
Overcoming the Challenges: Virtues in Action
On-the-Job Profile: Mark Stevenson Facing the Daily Challenges
4. Comprehensiveness in Content
Insights From Online Journalists: What Comprehensiveness Means
Challenges to Comprehensiveness
Overcoming the Challenges: Virtues in Action
On-the-Job Profile: Jenni Pinkley Facing the Daily Challenges
5. Open-endedness in Story Development
Excellence in Story Development Online
The Dynamic of Excellence
Challenges to Excellence in Story Development: External Goods Lurking
Attitude Check: Virtues for 21st-Century Journalists
On-the-Job Profile: Robert Quigley Facing the Daily Challenges
6. The Centrality of Conversation
A Longtime Value Takes Center Stage
Standards of Excellence in Online Conversation
The Dynamic of Excellence in Conversation
Now for the Challenges: Stumbling Blocks in the "Conversational Commons"
Virtue and Conversation
On-the-Job Profile: Eric Zorn Facing the Daily Challenges
7. Beyond the Big Guys: Independent and Community Journalism Online
Perspectives from Three Smaller Organizations
Citizen Journalism, Social Media, and Journalism as a Practice
8. The Future of Excellence in Online Journalism: Living in the World of Both-And
The World of Both-And
What It Takes to Work in the World of Both-And
About the Author

'This handbook will be welcome on any practical journalism course, especially at colleges that embrace the potential for theory-practice synergies. Its thoughtful approach via four elements of excellence, and the idea of external and internal goods, admirably situates thinking about journalism at the heart of doing it. [...] This book is remarkably up to date and should remain that way thanks to its companion website'
David A. Craig is an associate professor and associate dean for academic affairs in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma. He teaches journalism ethics, editing and graduate research courses. His research interests include excellence in journalistic practice, the ethics of journalistic language, coverage of ethics in professions and values for ethical decision-making. Craig worked for nine years as a news copy editor. He earned an M.A. in communication from Wheaton College and a Ph.D. in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He taught editing courses at Northwestern University and Missouri. He has been a professor at Oklahoma since 1996.