My new journalism book

New Zealand has no current journalism textbook for those learning the occupation here, or even just wanting to see what’s involved.

For that reason, there seems to be some demand for the three textbooks (13 different editions) that I wrote and edited between 1991 and recently. They’re Kiwi Journalist 1995, Intro 2003, and The Writing Style Guide 2018.

Luckily, I still have digital versions of them all, so I’m going back in with an editing hand to lay them out in e-book form to make them available again online. I’ve trialled this already and had good feedback.

You might say everything in journalism has changed since the internet claimed us more than a quarter century ago, but I swear many of the basics haven’t altered much at all: things like interviewing a stranger for a news story, researching for a deep-read feature (things are way better), understanding numbers, meeting deadlines, taking a sharp photo, knowing your cumulo-nimbus from your alto-stratos…and, of course, learning to write in a way that satisfies all the demands of urgency, clarity, flair, accuracy, accessibility, spelling and grammar.

They’re all there in those “old” texts, described in-depth by dozens of the best NZ journalists who ever lived, and, importantly, who worked during the last great era of print journalism. But there’s also lots about radio and TV there, as well, and even tentative attempts to address the fast-moving demands of online media (thanks to the visionary writing of Nigel Horrocks).

Don’t misunderstand – I’m not doing a complete update. How could I – there are more than half a million words there. But that kind of update isn’t needed. The new book – working title Texts of a Lifetime – My guides to NZ journalism – will preserve all the former content, with some adjustments and a much more readable layout. And some new stuff.

There’s too much to combine all three in one new edition, so it will have Kiwi J and Intro in this one and the style guide as a separate e-book that you’ll get for no extra payment if you buy the main combined text.

I’ve completed the update of Kiwi J and quite a few key chapters of Intro, so for a current reduced price of $50 I can send you those two and the style guide now in two manageable pdfs.

Email me at and I’ll sort you out a deal.

About Jim Tucker

Supposed to be retired, after quitting journalism teaching in 2013 (after 25 years, preceded by 22 years as a newspaper journalist and editor), but find myself busier than ever with various book projects, advising law firms, and writing articles for magazines like North & South and Live.
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