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Richard Tofel's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Richard Tofel recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Richard Tofel's favorite book recommendations of all time.


Across America, newspapers that have defined their cities for over a century are rapidly failing, their circulations plummeting even as opinion-soaked Web outlets like the Huffington Post thrive. Meanwhile, nightly news programs shock viewers with stories of horrific crime and celebrity scandal, while the smug sarcasm and shouting of pundits like Glenn Beck and Keith Olbermann dominate cable television. Is it any wonder that young people are turning away from the news entirely, trusting comedians like Jon Stewart as their primary source of information on current events?

Recommended by Richard Tofel, and 1 others.

Richard TofelJack Fuller is in many ways the renaissance man of modern American publishing. He’s been a law school graduate, a Supreme Court clerk, he’s an accomplished novelist, an expert on jazz. In the newspaper business he has been, at various points, the editorial page editor, the editor and ultimately the publisher of The Chicago Tribune. He’s a remarkable figure, and this is his second book in the last... (Source)

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Why did the newspaper with better writing and graphics than any other American daily go to an early grave?

Few American newspapers – and perhaps none at all in the view of some students of the craft – have matched the many excellences of the New York Herald Tribune. In the crispness of its writing and editing, the bite of its critics and commentators, the range of its coverage, and the clarity of its typography, the “Trib” (as media people and many of its readers affectionately called it) raised newspapering to an art form. It had an influence and importance out of all...
Recommended by Richard Tofel, and 1 others.

Richard TofelThat’s my point. The New York Herald Tribune was a great newspaper with an august tradition. It was actually the product of a merger of the two great mid-19th century New York newspapers, The Herald of James Gordon Bennett (which was the precursor of The Paris Herald) and The Tribune of Horace Greeley. In the 20th century it came to be run by the Reid family and was, for many decades, up there... (Source)

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The era of the big-city newspaper as a dependable beacon for the American people is over. A few stalwarts, including the New York Times and the Washington Post, remain true to the mission that has defined them for more than a century, but even they are in jeopardy. And what's happened to the others? Charles Madigan's -30- is the story of the decline of an important institution, the big-city American newspaper, told in a collection of incisive pieces by practitioners of the art and craft of journalism. At heart it's an insider's story, but with serious and vast consequences in the world beyond... more
Recommended by Richard Tofel, and 1 others.

Richard Tofel-30- is what journalists used to type at the bottom of their stories when the story was over. It was the journalistic equivalent of the cinematic “The End”. (Source)

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In Losing the News, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Alex S. Jones offers a probing look at the epochal changes sweeping the media, changes which are eroding the core news that has been the essential food supply of our democracy. less
Recommended by Richard Tofel, and 1 others.

Richard TofelThat’s right. Everyone sees there has been this enormous proliferation of information and of publishing. What people sometimes miss is that while the number of opinions is exploding, the number of original sources of fact is contracting. In the US, for instance, the number of reporters working for US organisations based outside the country has collapsed. Many, many news organisations that used to... (Source)

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A revelatory examination of how the wildfirelike spread of new forms of social interaction enabled by technology is changing the way humans form groups and exist within them, with profound long-term economic and social effects-for good and for ill
A handful of kite hobbyists scattered around the world find each other online and collaborate on the most radical improvement in kite design in decades. A midwestern professor of Middle Eastern history starts a blog after 9/11 that becomes essential reading for journalists covering the Iraq war. Activists use the Internet and e-mail to...
Recommended by Jack Ma, Seth Godin, Tyler Cowen, and 9 others.

Tyler CowenIf you had to pick one individual who was the sharpest and most prescient commentator on the web and the internet it would be Clay. (Source)

Lev GrossmanShirky is simply the best person at articulating what’s very weird and new about what’s going on. (Source)

Alan Rusbridger Read 2 We the Media by Dan Gillmor Read (Source)

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