Calling All Journalists! Need Gift Suggestion

If you are a journalist, can you please recommend a career-relevant congratulations gift for a young adult who just landed a reporting job at a major national daily? Thank you!

A local journalist/artist, a friend of mine, sells prints of this ink drawing. When I gave one (in a plain metal frame) to an editor I know to lift her spirits during the pandemic, it did the trick.

ETA: Proceeds go to nonprofit journalism organizations.

I asked openai - for book recommendations - here's what it came back with:

  1. "The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect" by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel: This book provides a framework for understanding the role of journalism in a democracy and the principles that should guide journalistic practice.
  2. "The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage" by Allan M. Siegal and William G. Connolly: This book is a comprehensive guide to style and usage for journalists and other writers. It covers topics such as grammar, punctuation, word choice, and more.
  3. "The Journalist's Handbook: An A-to-Z Guide to Reporting and Writing for the Digital Age" by Deborah Gump: This handbook is a practical guide to the skills and techniques needed to succeed in journalism today, including how to research and report stories, how to write for different platforms, and how to use social media effectively.
  4. "The First Amendment Handbook: A Guide to the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment" by David L. Hudson Jr.: This book is a comprehensive guide to the First Amendment and its five freedoms: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances. It is a valuable resource for journalists and anyone interested in the role of the media in a democratic society.
  5. "On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction" by William Zinsser: This book is a classic guide to writing nonfiction that is clear, concise, and engaging. It covers topics such as choosing a subject, writing with clarity and simplicity, and revising and editing your work. It is a useful resource for journalists and other writers looking to improve their craft.

I’d save it for a less auspicious occasion, but this is the book to give a reporter who already has the chops to land a job at a major national daily:

It’s short, it’s sharp, it’s funny, it’s wise, it’s humane, and it can be picked up and put down at will. Even better, it has almost nothing to do with work, other than reminding you why you’re not all that.

a professional-looking backpack, a set of reporter notebooks, and some good pens (the latter is a very subjective choice).

Reporter notebooks, for sure. Staples often has packs. And I second the vote for pens, if you can find out the person’s favorites. Personally, I’ve always preferred old school clear blue ink Bics, but pens for writers are like pizza and Chinese food. So, so subjective. 

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