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Kingston lecturer publishes 3rd edition of key journalism textbook

Date:01 November 2013 to
31 January 2014

This year’s crop of journalism students are getting stuck into their local government and politics courses – with the help of Kingston University lecturer James Morrison

Senior lecturer James wrote the third edition of Essential Public Affairs for Journalists – a core text for candidates studying for college and university-based journalism courses across the UK.

The book, published earlier this year, is regarded as the bible for journalists and trainees across the country on how local and national government works in the UK, what changes are happening and how journalists can work the system to get the information they need for stories.

The Oxford University Press publication, which focuses on the workings of British government, is a set textbook for all pre-entry diploma courses accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).

First published in 2009, its fully revised third edition includes updates on all the biggest policy and constitutional changes introduced by the Coalition and new sections focusing on some of the big political debates of the day – including the future of the welfare state, social housing, and banking regulation.

Endorsements for the new edition have come from, among others, Kevin Maguire, associate editor and political columnist for the Daily Mirror and a regular on the Sky News paper review, who describes it in the cover blurb as “an essential guide for everybody in our trade”.

James said: “The book is hard work because the landscape of how our local and national administration works is changing rapidly. But it is something I am passionate about and it is key for journalists to know about what is happening in government.”

In addition to the latest edition of his textbook, James, who teaches on both the BA and MA Journalism programmes at Kingston, is busy on several other book projects.

He has contributed a chapter based on his PhD research to an upcoming Routledge academic text, Agents of (Dis)empowerment: Media and Civic Engagement. And he has been commissioned to write an essential guide to journalistic writing – the next in a series of volumes which already includes a ‘how to’ book on poetry by Fiona Sampson and a fiction guide by novelist and literary consultant Richard Skinner.

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