Join our Book Club

This is a new experiment from Solution Set.

Sign up for updates and please share your thoughts and feedback.

Welcome to the Solution Set News Book Club. We read and discuss a book together as a community on a topic related to journalism. It could be a book that’s specifically about news, or it could focus on related topics such as culture change, community building, innovation, and more. You can join the conversation via Twitter, Slack, email newsletter, and Zoom call. Scroll down a bit for details on how to join each channel.

A different host always helps lead the Book Club discussion. They select three potential books, and the community then votes to choose which one it would like to read. Our next host is Teresa Gorman, the Democracy Fund’s senior program associate for local news.

Teresa has picked three books for us to consider, and now it’s up to us to vote on which one we want to read as a group. Here are the three books along with short descriptions from Teresa: 

Trailblazer: A Pioneering Journalist’s Fight to Make the Media Look More Like America by Dorothy Butler Gilliam

If you’re going to talk about the future of journalism, you can’t forget it’s past. That’s why I’m adding Dorothy Butler Gilliam’s memoir to the list, as recommended by my colleague Lea Trusty. Gilliam was the first black woman hired to work as a reporter at The Washington Post. The struggles she faced in the newsroom and outside of it will probably sound pretty familiar to journalists working today. It reminds us how much we still need to do to make our newsrooms and our journalism fully represent our communities.

Related story: 

•  The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker

Have you ever been to a meeting or event that left you feeling…meh? It wasn’t planned well, or there weren’t the right people in the room, or you can’t quite put your finger on it, but it was just off. In the Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters, Priya Parker shares how you can fend off that feeling and make your next gathering a success. This book led to some real ‘aha’ moments for me, and went much deeper than how to plan an event. More people and organizations are using gatherings to come up with the future of journalism together, from conferences to small meetings, so I know this book will be a useful guide for all of us.

•  The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance — What Women Should Know by Katty Kay, Claire Shipman

The Confidence Code, recommended by my colleague Angelica Das, appealed to me for this book club for a few reasons. One is that so many “future of journalism” books, articles, and panels feature men (white men), often exclusively. Why is that? Maybe the “confidence gap” the authors talk about has something to do with it. Of course, it shouldn’t be up to only women to step up and solve the problem. That’s also why it’s worth checking this one out. It will be interesting to see how this book’s examples hold up from 2014, which feels like a very long time ago. 

You can vote on which book you’d like us to read by clicking HERE. The polls will remain open through the end of next week, and I’ll announce the winner the week of July 15.

We’ll be meeting to discuss the book on Thursday August 29 at 1 p.m. EDT. You can add the event to your Google calendar here. I’ll, of course, send out reminders as the date gets closer.

Here’s how you can join the News Book Club conversation:

• Twitter: On Twitter, we’ll use the hashtag #NewsBookClub to chat about the book.

• Slack: We have a robust Slack community that has an ongoing conversation about the books we’re reading. You can sign up here.

• Zoom call: On Thursday August 29 at 1 p.m. EDT we’ll be holding a Zoom call to discuss any thoughts, insights, or questions you may have about the book we choose. You can add the call to your Google Calendar, and I’ll send out reminders as the date gets closer

• Newsletter: I’ll send out regular updates to the newsletter list with highlights from the discussions on the other platforms along with other bits of news and information about the Book Club. You can sign up on this page.

This book club is very much an experiment. Please feel free to share any thoughts or feedback as we progress at  [email protected]