Thinking Clearly

Written by leading professional journalists and classroom-tested at schools of journalism, Thinking Clearly is designed to provoke conversation about the issues that shape the production and presentation of the news in the twenty-first century.

Cases in Journalistic Decision-Making
Co-edited with Amy S. Mitchell

The case study method used in law and select business schools translates wonderfully to the teaching of the situational decision making and nuanced ethics of journalism. Thinking Clearly features some of the best journalists of their generation to re-report some of the most challenging journalism cases in history. They interviewed the journalists who covered the stories and worked with educators to develop teaching case studies for each one to help students recognize the moral dimensions of the journalistic craft.

Bearing on questions of craft, ethics, competition, and commerce, they cover a range of topics—the commercial imperatives of newsroom culture, standards of verification, the competition of public and private interests, including the question of privacy—in a variety of key episodes: Watergate, the Richard Jewell case, John McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign, and the Columbine shooting, among others.


“This volume is designed to stimulate the thinking of students to make intelligent moral choices as journalists… The narratives of [Columbine and Watergate] are so well presented that it is as though the reader were encountering the material for the first time… The book fills a gap in journalism texts… Recommended as a supplemental text for all journalism courses.”