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Heat & Light [Book Review]


I have been reading this book for awhile – as it took longer than expected what with family visiting for the holidays and starting school recently – and finally, I have finished it.  Here is my review.  Enjoy!

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Title:  Heat & Light: Advice for the Next Generation of Journalists

Author: Mike Wallace and Beth Knobel

Synopsis: “In Heat & Light, a legendary journalist and a journalism professor join forces to offer a one-of-a-kind guide for our next generation of great journalists.  Drawing on the authors’ decades of experience at the top of the field and inspired directly by beginners’ most frequently asked questions, Heat & Light offers invaluable advice on such topics as:

·        balancing drama and information (‘heat’ vs. ‘light’)
·        generating and evaluating story ideas
·        the secrets to crafting good ledes
·        creating strong packages for the internet, tv, and radio
·        the specific requirements of writing for print and broadcast
·        the art of the interview

Along the way, the authors share countless anecdotes from their own storied careers—and discuss larger questions such as the rapidly growing role of digital media and what it means for today’s aspiring journalists.

Includes an extensive “reporter’s toolbox” of checklists, techniques, and resources.”

ISBN: 0307464652

 Heat and Light: Advice for the Next Generation of Journalists

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 My Review:

I was skeptical when I first picked up Heat and Light.  It was not a book I was obligated to read for class, nor was it a book I was told to read for a job; it was a book I wanted to read for my future journalist self.  While I wanted to read it to learn about the ins-and-outs of journalism, I was still scared that maybe this book would be too technical, too full of lists, and ultimately boring.  However, after reading the first page, I realized how wrong I was.

This is not one of those bullet-pointed-checklist books telling you how to be a journalist.  It is not a book so full of information, rules, and guidelines that it makes you lose interest by the second chapter.  And it is not a book which leaves your brain hurting and your eyes tired.  No, Heat and Light is a book filled with engaging stories, useful tips, and rewarding advice on how to strive in today’s – and tomorrow’s – journalism industry.

Written by the prominent Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes, and award-winning journalist turned professor, Beth Knobel, these two experienced reporters show – not tell – what it takes to make it as a journalist in both present day, and future, journalism.  Along with inspirational and motivational anecdotes from other noteworthy reporters, producers, editors, and anchors, the pages in this book are not only packed with knowledge and information, but also with entertainment, making it an easy read.

Heat and Light is more of a resource than a book.  Touching every aspect of journalism from print to broadcast to internet reporting,  and ending with a “Reporter’s Toolbox”, it is one of the most useful materials for hopeful – and seasoned – journalists and reporters.  If you are interested in journalism, or just want some advice for the ever expanding profession, Heat and Light is a must read.


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Purchase it at Amazon.com here: Heat and Light: Advice for the Next Generation of Journalists

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*Note: The review above is written by me.  © Kalie Lyn 2011*

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About Palm Trees & Bare Feet

Travel. Animals. Writing. Photography. Books. Movies. Art. Creating. Dreaming. Thinking. Exploring. Adventure. Living.

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