CUNY Graduate School of Journalism Launches CUNY Journalism Press

New Academic Imprint, in Partnership with OR Books, Is Dedicated to Books About Journalism and Journalists

Four Titles Head 2013 List, Led By NPR Senior Strategist Andy Carvin’s Distant Witness: Social Media, the Arab Spring and a Journalism Revolution

The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism has launched a new academic press to publish books related to journalism, Dean Stephen Shepard announced Sunday, Oct. 14.

Shepard said the new imprint will publish 3-5 books per year, beginning in 2013. “We think that publishing more thoughtful, insightful books about journalism at this critical time in the history of news and information is important for journalists, important for writers and, especially, important for readers,” Dean Shepard said. “We plan to do it under a new publishing model.”

He listed four titles to be published by the CUNY Journalism Press in 2013:

Distant Witness: Social Media, the Arab Spring and a Journalism Revolution, by Andy Carvin, NPR’s senior strategist for social media, recounts his innovative use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social networks in reporting the Middle East upheavals from Tunisia to Egypt to Syria to Libya and beyond.

Fighting for the Press: The Inside Story of the Pentagon Papers, by former New York Times chief counsel James Goodale, tells the stories behind the story of the Pentagon Papers, both in the newsroom and in the courtroom, and analyzes how the case relates to press freedom issues today, including those surrounding WikiLeaks.

Investigative Journalism in America: A History, by Steve Weinberg, a member of the University of Missouri Journalism School faculty and co-founder of IRE, the leading association of investigative reporters and editors, is a narrative look at the reporters, publications and stories that drove the development of investigative reporting.

The Pleasures of Being Out of Step: Nat Hentoff’s Life in Journalism, Jazz and the First Amendment, is a biography of the noted jazz critic and free speech activist by CUNY Journalism Professor David L. Lewis, a former Daily News reporter and “60 Minutes” producer and associate producer who is also directing a feature-length documentary on Hentoff.

The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the only public graduate school of journalism in the Northeast, opened its doors in 2006 under Shepard, formerly the editor of Business Week. Widely known for its emphasis on multimedia, interactive and cross-platform reporting and storytelling, the school’s intensive three-semester program offers a Master of Arts in Journalism. The school is also known for its innovative training in emerging media technology and for its Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism.

Professor Jeff Jarvis, director of the Tow-Knight Center, and his staff helped develop the new publishing model for the CUNY Journalism Press. “We’re excited at the prospect of doing our part to disrupt the traditional publishing model,” Jarvis said. “We think that books of the future will be published, distributed and consumed in new and different ways in the evolving digital realm, and we aim to help make that happen.”

The CUNY Journalism Press will operate in partnership with OR Books, an independent publisher based in New York City. “We take advantage of new technology, including print-on-demand and e-books, to help publishing partners such as CUNY Journalism Press put out books that might not otherwise get published, and to market and distribute those books economically and effectively,” said OR Books co-founder John Oakes. “We take much of the waste and inefficiency out of the publishing process.”

The editor of the new imprint is Tim Harper, a visiting professor and writing coach at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. He is a widely published author and a freelance writer, and a veteran editorial/publishing consultant. Authors and agents seeking more information or offering proposals may reach him through the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism website. “We’re looking for anything about journalism, anything about news and the news media – past, present or future,” Harper said. “We’re interested in skills and how-to books, anthologies, histories, memoirs, anything and everything that adds to what we know about journalism and journalists.”

He said that the CUNY Journalism Press, in cooperation with OR Books, is pioneering a unique “co-publishing” arrangement with authors. Instead of emphasizing upfront royalty payments to authors in the form of advances against a relatively small percentage of prospective sales, the new model will offer significantly higher returns to authors based on sharing net profits from actual sales.

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The City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism offers an intensive three-semester curriculum toward a Masters of Arts in Journalism. Based on West 40th Street in Manhattan, in the Times Square area, the school offers print, broadcast and interactive training in five areas of concentration: arts & culture, business & economics, health & medicine, international, or urban reporting. Its students have won dozens of local, regional and national awards in recent years.

OR Books, founded by Colin Robinson and John Oakes, publishes its own books and provides assistance to publishing partners who benefit from an innovative approach to the business of books: creating well-produced and elegant print-on-demand and/or e-books, selling direct to the customer and promoting titles extensively, both on the Internet and through conventional channels. OR sells its books worldwide, direct to readers. To avoid the waste of unsold copies, OR produces books as needed, either through print-on-demand or as platform-agnostic e-books. This approach jettisons the inefficiencies of conventional publishing to better serve readers, writers and the environment.

For further information:

Tim Harper, Editor:
Fernanda Diaz, Publicist: