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Glenn Halbrooks

10 Books about Media You Must Read

By November 20, 2012

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People who work in media are usually immersed in our industry -- the successes and the screw-ups that make a career in print, broadcast or online media unique. These 10 books about media give you a behind-the-scenes look at where we've been, from some of the brightest minds to ever pick up a microphone or a notepad.

A photo of the Coneheads sketch from Saturday Night Live in 1975
One of the 10 must-read books about media is an uncensored look behind the scenes at Saturday Night Live.
Photo © Getty Images
Even if you don't work in media, Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live will captivate you with its look at what really goes on backstage at this TV institution. Some of the show's most famous larger-than-life stars have the same hang-ups and insecurities as the rest of us.

You'll find entertaining reading, such as books by network news icons David Brinkley and Linda Ellerbee. If a novel is more your style, All the President's Men, about the newspaper reporters who uncovered the Watergate scandal, won't disappoint. You may have been assigned to read that book in school, as I was, but you'll have a greater appreciation of dogged investigative reporting skills now that you're a media pro yourself.

If you're under 40, you may not know of the late NBC News anchorwoman Jessica Savitch. But you can't miss reading Almost Golden, which tells the sad story of her rapid rise to the top and her untimely death at the peak of her career.

Another standout book is CNN The Inside Story. We take cable TV news for granted today, but you'll be amazed at all the efforts it took to launch the Cable News Network in 1980. New satellite technology shares part of the credit, but most of the reason CNN became the world's biggest cable news network belongs to an unlikely bunch of caring, yet crazy, individuals who were determined to make television history.

Now that the holiday season is here, check out these books for yourself or give them as gifts to reporters, anchors, writers and editors who you know. These books deserve a spot on the bookshelf of people who work in media. They are guaranteed not to gather dust.

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