Essential Public Affairs for Journalists cover with author James Morrison

New edition of Essential Public Affairs for Journalists set to launch

A new edition of the go-to public affairs handbook for journalists is hot off the press and set to be released.

The eighth edition of Essential Public Affairs for Journalists is authored by James Morrison and published by Oxford University Press (OUP) in partnership with the NCTJ.

Essential Public Affairs for Journalists

Cover of the 8th edition of Essential Public Affairs for Journalists

The comprehensive guide covers everything aspiring and working journalists need to know about UK governance on a local and national level.

This includes its laws, structures and institutions, and how they impact the media.

James said: “With the UK still reeling from years of political turmoil, it’s more important than ever that journalism students and entry-level reporters stay abreast of public affairs.”

Since the last edition of this textbook was published in 2021, James noted Britain has “lived through the death of the Queen, the outbreak of war in Europe, two changes of prime minister and the dramatic resignation of Scotland’s longest-standing first minister”.

He added: “Between now and next time, there will have been a general election and (if polls can be believed) a probable change of government.

“Who knows what shape the weird and wonderful world of British politics will be in by then.”

First published in 2009, this latest edition has been updated to include the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the cost-of-living crisis, and policy changes of recent successive governments from Boris Johnson to Rishi Sunak.

It also sees the ‘current issues’ and ‘further reading’ sections revised.

Helen Swann, senior portfolio manager of OUP’s Higher Education Department, said: “We are extremely pleased to publish the new edition of Essential Public Affairs for Journalists in conjunction with the NCTJ.

“James has captured the events of the past couple of years in his trademark engaging style, and we hope the book will help journalism students navigate the fast-moving and turbulent environment of public affairs.”

Author James Morrison

James is a freelance journalist, an NCTJ senior examiner in public affairs, a member of the NCTJ’s public affairs board and an associate professor in journalism at the University of Stirling.

Previously, he led the NCTJ-accredited journalism programmes at Kingston University.

Praising the title, BBC News political editor Chris Mason wrote: “I could have done with this book about 20 years ago.

“It is a wholesome and comprehensive canter around every limb and funny bone of the state.”

Essential Public Affairs for Journalists will be published on Friday, 21 July. Click here to pre-order the book at a discounted rate of £27.99 until Monday, 31 July.

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