Friday, October 13, 2006

Jack Shafer coins a new term - newsbooks, and about time:

Whoever said long stories put off readers hasn't scanned the New York Times best-seller list lately. Even though newspapers and magazines have crammed their pages with Iraq reporting, readers seem insatiable on the topic. The current Times list features four heavily reported and lengthy books about the Iraq adventure: Hubris, by Michael Isikoff and David Corn; Fiasco, by Thomas Ricks; State of Denial, by Bob Woodward; and Imperial Life in the Emerald City, by Rajiv Chandrasekaran.

All four titles belong to the genre I call the "newsbook," which straddles the space between contemporary history and daily journalism and is usually hooked to Washington and politics. Unlike most conventional histories, newsbooks are written by journalists and they're composed at breakneck speed.



Blogger rayjberg said...

Jack Shafer is mis-informed. The term newsbooks was used as a book imprint by R. J. Berg Publisher as early as 1974. Other imprints used by the publisher included News & Features Press, Newsbooks and Newsbooks International. Books were published for print media and the subjects were current news, sports, cookery, journalism reference.

6:59 AM  

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