Updated: 12-2019

Alphabetized List -- Journalists in Novels and Short Stories



Aker Patrik & Andre Rogatchevski: The Journalist as a Detective: The Media Insights and Critique in Post-1991 American, Russian and Swedish Crime Novelsby Patrik Aker & Andrei Rogatchevski, Journal of Journalism Studies, September 26, 2019. Today it often happens that the protagonist in crime fiction is a journalist...this article examines what readers can learn about jouranlism by comparing crime fiction (a widely popular genre fostering society critique) from Russia, Sweden and USA.

Berry, Thomas Elliott, The Newspaper in the American Novel, 1900-1969, The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, N.J. 1970, 170 pages.

Black, Jay, "Ethics of the Fictional Journalist: How Novelists Portray Decision-making in the News Business," 1994. Emerson College Library.

Born, Donna, "The Image of the Woman Journalist in American Popular Fiction, 1890 to the Present," a Paper Presented to the Committee of the Association for Education in Journalism, Annual Convention, Michigan State University, East Lansing, August, 1981, pp. 1-45. Also, "The Woman Journalist of the 1920s and 1930s in Fiction and in Autobiography," presented to the Qualitative Studies Division, Association for Education in Journalism Annual Convention, Ohio, July 1982, pp. 1-24. Born was an assistant professor in the Department of Journalism at Central Michigan University.

Boumelha, Penny, The Woman of Genius and the Woman of Grub Street: Figures of the Female Writer in British Fin-de-Siècle Fiction by Penny Boumelha in English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920, Volume 40, Number 2, 1997, pp. 164-180. The image of the female journalist in nineteenth-century fiction is explored in this article in which the author claims that “it is difficult to think of any female character that actually wants to be a journalist…such work is a last resort under the pressure of financial necessity”.

Brennen, Bonnie Sue, "Peasantry of the Press: A History of American Newsworkers from Novels, 1919-1938," Thesis-Dissertation, 1993. University of Iowa Library.

Cozma, Raluca and John Maxwell Hamilton, "Film Portrayals of Foreign Correspondents: A Content Analysis of Movies Before World War II and after Vietnam," Journalism Studies, Volume 10, Issue 4, August 2009, pp. 489-505. This study combines content analysis and a close reading of movies to assess the portrayal of foreign correspondents in films during two periods: the golden age of foreign correspondence (the 1930s to World War II) and the years after the Vietnam War. The analysis revealed that movies generally depict foreign correspondents as heroes, but their status changes over time, and so do the circumstances in which they work. The differences during the two periods track changes for real foreign correspondents. In the golden age, silver screen correspondents were happy elites at ease with themselves even when stepping out of journalistic roles, unlike the latter period, when they were angst-ridden and questioned their responsibilities.

Ghiglione, Loren, The American Journalist: Paradox of the Press (Library of Congress, Washington, DC, 1990), written for a Library of Congress exhibit on the image of the journalist, is one of the best resources for novels about journalism and journalists.

Ghiglione, Loren,  Does science fiction -- yes science fiction -- suggest futures for news? Daedalus 2010, 139 (2): 138-150.

Good, Howard, Acquainted with the Night: The Image of Journalists in American Fiction, 1890-1930, is the definitive book on the image of the journalist in fiction (The Scarecrow Press, Inc. Metuchen, N.J. & London, 1986, 139 pages). Good's "The Image of War Correspondents in Anglo-American Fiction," Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, 1986, Journalism Monograph, pp. 1-25.  Also, Good's "The Journalist in Fiction, 1890-1930," Journalism Quarterly (Summer 1985): 187-214. The Image of Journalism in American Poetry, by Howard Good, professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, American Journalism, Volume 4, Issue 3, 1987, pp. 123-132.

Gowen, William R., "Mild-mannered reporters...or boys' book heroes,"  NEWSBOY, the official publication of the Horatio Alger Society,  July-August 1999, pp. 11-17. A survey of boys' dime novels, story papers and series books dating back to the 1860s and continuing until the late 1960s. The world of boys' fiction is filled with stories about the newspaper profession in its full spectrum: reporting and writing stories, editing, selling advertising and gthe actual production of the newspaper.

Gregorski, Carri, Denny Wilkins, John Hanchette, Paul J. Spaeth, James Snyder, James Webb, "Ethical Journalism: Traditional Newsgathering, Journalism in Film and an Examination of 'All The President's Men.'" St. Bonaventure University, 2003. Thesis-Dissertation-Book.

Hallock, Steve, Fiction or Truth,The Quill (Chicago, Ill.) v. 85, pp. 31-34, May, 1997. Just as cops and lawyers and coaches and politicians complain about how they are treated in newspaper stories, journalists lament their treatment at the hands of fiction authors. An inspection of six novels of newspapers or newspaper characters yielded some nuggets of reality, but these nuggets were hidden among the negative stereotypes, cliches and myths. The most troubling aspect of these books is the attitude toward journalism conveyed by the authors. If fiction mirrors society, there is little doubt the public distrusts the news media or that reporters are viewed as an arrogant pack feeding on society's ills.

Harrison, James Geraty, American Newspaper Journalism as Described in American Novels of the 19th century, Ph.D. dissertation, University of North Carolina, 1945.
Also, James G. Harrison's "Nineteenth-Century American Novels on American Journalism I," Journalism Quarterly, September 1945, Volume 22, Number 3, pp. 215-224, and "Nineteenth-Century American Novels on American Journalism II," Journalism Quarterly, December 1945, Volume 22, Number 4, pp. 335-345.

Hitchens, Christopher, Fleet Street's Finest, The Guardian, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2005. From Evelyn Waugh to Michael Frayn, novelists have portrayed journalists as bibulous, cynical and slothful. But for Christopher Hitchens, the tales of "unredeemed squalor" and fiddled expenses evoke nostalgia for a vanished age.

Hutton, David Craig, I'll still be reporting, whoever wins: Journalism and the Media in the Fiction of Graham Greene's Stamboul Train, It's a Battlefield and The Quiet American, a thesis prepared for the College of Graduate Studies and Research, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, 2007. This is an examination of Graham Greene’s use and characterization of journalists in three of his novels. Greene uses journalist characters as vehicles to critique the practice of journalism and the media in three novels in particular: Stamboul Train (1932), It’s a Battlefield (1934), and The Quiet American (1955). This study examines the influence and manifestation of journalism and, more broadly, the mass media in these three novels. Through an analysis of Greene’s journalist protagonists, this study investigates the complex relationship between writer and subject, his portrayal of the mass media, and the various themes attached to Greene’s conception of journalism and the role of the journalist in society. In these novels, Greene critiques the function of journalism in society, the responsibility of the journalist in a democratic society, and the misuse of this power by journalists and editors alike. Observing and participating in the world, Greene’s journalist protagonists find themselves in situations where they must choose between involvement and neutrality, attachment and detachment, and, often, damnation and salvation. As a renowned journalist himself, Greene travelled to troubled places to report on revolution, social change, individual and collective suffering, thereby experiencing situations both physically dangerous and morally disturbing. I argue that Greene ultimately adopts a less stringent view of journalistic observation, understanding that knowledge itself is an interpretive achievement. His observations in this regard are crucial to an understanding of Greene and increasingly important in a media dominated world where the role of the journalist is increasingly critical. 

Isani, Shaeda, Journalism FASP & fictional representations of journalists in popular contemporary literature. This article analyses journalism and journalists as represented in popular Anglo-American fiction. It begins with a brief introduction to fiction à substrat professionnel (FASP) as a genre and analyses the specific traits of the journalism sub-genre with regard to degrees of ‘FASPness’. It next analyses fictional representations of journalists with particular reference to dichotomous portrayals of the individual journalist as opposed to the profession as a whole.

Klein, Margaret, "Journalists in Some Nineteenth Century Fiction," Thesis-Dissertation. 1929. OCLC: 56156160. Columbia University Libraries, New York.

Korte, Barbara, Represented Reporters: Images of War Correspondents in Memoirs and Fiction, 2009, focuses primarily on Britain in an investigation of the representation of war correspondents from Victorian times to the present in memoirs, novels and films.  

Langner-Burns, Heidi M., "The Image of Journalists in American Film and Fiction from 1975 to 1987: An Application of Leo Lowenthal's Model," School of Journalism, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, 1989.

Lessig, Hugh, News Noir Web site is an entertaining look at the journalist in fiction. As Lessig puts it: "Hardboiled tales and newspapers. They've gone together from the beginning. The River City Blade is a fictional paper, devoted to the spirit of the hardboiled newspaperman. Its sister paper is called The Frisco Foil, and I've based a few stories there -- when I feel like writing about the West Coast. Whether it's the Foil or the Blade, whether it was Kennedy of the Free Press or Kolchak of Night Stalker fame, reporters always stick their notebooks where they don't belong."

Lonsdale, Sarah, "We Agreed That Women Were a Nuisance in th Office, Anyway:" The Portrayal of Women Journalists in Early Twentieth-Century British Fiction  Journalism Studies, 14:4, 461-475. The growing numbers of women journalists entering the profession in the early twentieth century provoked mixed reactions from contemporary novelists. Responsews evolved from cheering on a doughty pioneer to questioning whether women's presence in the mass print media was helping reform the status of women or reinforcing gender stereotypes. Little is known about the personal struggles of women journalists in the early years of the popular press. In the absence of plentiful data, the study of novels and short stories, many of them semi-autobiographical and written by men and women working in the early twentieth-century newspaper industry, combined with analysis of previously un-studied memoirs and early guides for women journalists, illuminate the obstacles and opportunities experienced by these pioneers.

Lutes, Jean Marie, "Front-Page Girls: Women Journalists in American Culture and Fiction, 1880-1930," Cornell University Press, 2007. This is the first study of the newspaperwoman in American literary culture at the turn of the 20th century. It examines the relationship of real-life reporters such as Nellie Bly and Ida B. Wells with fictional characters such as Henrietta Stackpole, the lady correspondent in Henry James' "Portrait of a Lady." It chronicles the exploits of a a neglected group of American women writers and uncovers an alternative reporter-novelist tradition that runs counter to the more familiar story of gritty realism generated in male-dominated newsrooms. It also explores how women's journalism shaped the path from news to novels for women writers.
Also, Lutes' Sob Sisterhood Revisited," (American Literary History - Volume 15, Number 3, Fall, 2003, pp. 504-532, Oxford University Press), and "Into the Madhouse with Nellie Bly: Girl Stunt Reporting in Late Nineteenth Century America" (American Quarterly, Volume 54, Number 2, June 2002, pp. 217-253). Also, "The American Girl Reporter Abroad and James's Superabundance Problem," a paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association, 5-24-2009.

Markowitz, Judith A., “Journalism” in GAY DETECTIVE NOVEL: LESBIAN AND GAY MAIN CHARACTERS & THEMES IN MYSTERY FICTION with a foreward by Katherine V. Forrest, 302 pages. McFarland & Co. October, 2004, 112 to 121, 126-151. This is an excellent introduction to the image of the gay journalist in fiction.

McClure, H.H.
, "Inside Views of Fiction: III -- The Newspaper Novel," Bookman, Volume XXXI, March-August 1910, pp. 60-61.

McKeen, William, Heroes and Villains: A Study of Journalists in American Novels Published Between 1915 and 1975, Indiana University, 1977 (submitted to the faculty of the Graduate School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Masters of Arts Degree in the School of Journalism, Indiana University, August, 1977. p. 1-121). Also, "Tough Guys with Typewriters," Studies in Popular Culture, Spring, 1980.

Mitchell, Sally, Careers for Girls: Writing Trash , Victorian Periodicals Review, Vol. 25, No. 3 (Fall, 1992), pp. 109-113. Advice manuals, magazines, autobiographies and novels that seem to fictionalize the author's experience on grub street provide an array of impressions and evidence about young women's opportunities in professional journalism between 1880 and 1920.

Rossie, Amanda, Looking to the Margins: The "Outsider Within" Journalistic Fiction, The IJPC Journal, Volume 1, Fall 2009, pp. 105-137. Former journalists Kim McLarin (Taming It Down, 1998) and Lisa Haddock (Edited Out, 1994; Final Cut, 1995) mine their experiences in the world of journalism to create two characters – one African American and one lesbian – who struggle between journalism’s world of power and privilege and the responsibilities toward their own minority communities. The characters exemplify what it means to be an “outsider within” the newsroom and their own community in an effort to climb the career ladder while staying true to their roots. This paper examines how race and gender define each woman’s experience in journalism, and how these fictional representations portray minority reporters to the world.

Shelley, Lorna, Female Journalists and Journalism in fin-de-siecle Magazine Stories, University of Wolverhampton, Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies, Issue 5.2, Summer 2009. The rise of the short story about female journalists and women’s roles in journalism is significant to understanding late-nineteenth-century magazine and print cultures.  Stories with plots about journalism allow writers, who are usually journalists themselves, to explore their occupation, urbanity, and gender issues.  Fiction gives attention to women entering newspaper offices and the resistance demonstrated towards them by male members of the profession. 

SCOOP! JOURNALISTS IN FICTION Web site. "Journalists appear in fiction in many guises and play many roles. Sometimes they provide central characters, often they intrude on the action, their attentions as unwelcome as they often are in real life. Scoop! gathers together these appearances under a variety of themes, some amusing, some trivial, some giving an insight into how the Press works and how it is seen to impact on our society."

Spaulding, L. Stacy and Maurine H. Beasley, Crime, Romance and Sex: Washington Women Journalists in Recent Popular Fiction by Stacy L. Spaulding, assistant professor of journalism, Columbia Union College and Maurine H. Beasley, Professor of Journalism, Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Media Report to Women 32, No. 4 (2004), pp. 6-12. This study of 13 novels portraying Washington women journalists finds their portrayals have improved since 1990 when one authority concluded that most novels showed women as "unfulfilled unfortunates." The fictional women in this study, featured most prominently in detective stories, are eager to expose male corruption to further their careers but make little effort to change underlying social causes. These women are searching for relationships, but their careers still take precedence

Stewart, Daxton R., Harry Potter and the Exploitative Jackals: Media Framing and Credibility Attitudes in Young Readers, The IJPC Journal, Volume 2, Fall 2010, pp. 1-33. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series has sold more than 400 million books worldwide, and more than half of children ages 9 to 17 have read a Harry Potter book. Rowling has exposed a generation of readers, mostly children, to exaggerated stereotypes of immoral, unprofessional and untrustworthy journalism. To what extent does the framing of journalists in the Potter books contribute to perceptions of media credibility in young readers? This article builds on the literature exploring the image of journalists in popular culture and uses a targeted survey of young readers to examine how Rowling’s portrayal of journalists may affect those readers’ perceptions of the press.

Sturgill, Amanda, Jessica Winney and Tina Libhart, Harry Potter and Children's Perceptions of the News Media,, American Communication Journal, a publication of the American Communication Association, Vol. 10, Issue 01, Spring 2008. Authors: Amanda Sturgill, Department of Journalism at Baylor University, Jessica Winney, University of Houston Clear Lake, Tina Libhart, Baylor University. This framing study examines how author J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series of children’s books treats the news media and how that treatment could affect children. Researchers first studied quotes from the first six books regarding the media, and based on the overall categorization of those quotes, they determined the three main frames in which media is viewed: Government Control of Journalism, Misleading Journalism, and Unethical Means of Gathering Information. Based on these frames, researchers argue the Harry Potter series does not put the media in a positive light. Because of this, children could potentially perceive the news media in general as untrustworthy and controlled by the government. Given the prevalence of tabloid journalism and “entertainment” news, children’s understanding of true journalistic integrity, journalism as a career, and even positive social behaviors could be negatively affected due to this depiction, in light of the overwhelming popularity of the series

Windrow, John Luther, "Getting a Bad Press: the Image of the Journalists in Fiction Written by Journalists in the 1980's." Thesis-dissertation, 1996. OCLC: 63290954. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis Library.

Weinberg, Steve, formerly a professor of journalism at the University of Missouri, started collecting novels of and by journalists in 1983. He presented his collection to the University of Missouri-Columbia Libraries in 1989 and periodically supplements the collections with new additions. There are more than 830 volumes in the collection. All titles are cataloged and available through MERLIN, the University's online catalog. His articles on the subject include"The Reporter in the Novel" for the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR), November-December 1997, and "My Great White Whale, or the Great Newspaper Novel," for New York Times (Aug. 27, 1989, sec. 7, p. 1).