Review: ‘Dynamics of News Reporting & Writing’

Filak’s textbook offers ‘more’ in form of accompanying blog

Reviewed by Carolyn Schurr Levin

At a time when students are increasingly skeptical about the value of high priced textbooks and professors are often asked to justify their cost, it undoubtedly helps when a book offers something “more.” Vincent Filak’s “Dynamics of News Reporting & Writing,” released on Jan. 2, 2018, does just that. In addition to providing a potpourri of chapters routinely found in reporting books, including “Interviewing,” “Broadcast-Style Writing and Voicing,” “Basics of Writing,” and “Editing Audio and Video,” Filak, a professor of journalism at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, has deftly added “more” in the form of a blog, dynamicsofwriting.com. It includes almost daily updates with additional information, examples of material discussed in the textbook and interactive elements to keep students engaged and the material fresh. Recent blog posts, including “Profile Writing: You can observe a lot by watching” and “5 cool things about open records I learned from an #ACPBOM session,” provide timely and helpful content that can be integrated into a course curriculum.

The textbook is written in a conversational tone. “I try to put tools in your toolbox,” Filak said. “Whatever you are doing or where you are going, you will take these with you.” The book is, above all, practical and user friendly. Each chapter begins with “Learning Objectives,” offers “Helpful Hints,” and ends with “Write Now!” assignments. Continue reading Review: ‘Dynamics of News Reporting & Writing’