Since January 2007, Roger Fidler, RJI’s program director for digital publishing, and his graduate student assistants from the Missouri School of Journalism have designed and produced more than 40 Digital Newsbooks at no cost to members of the RJI Digital Publishing Alliance.
While most members use newsbooks to build audience loyalty or to attract donations, some are selling their RJI Digital Newsbooks or similar e-books they have created in-house through online bookstores.
In 2009, the RJI briefly hosted a pilot online store where Digital Newsbooks could be purchased and downloaded. While only a few hundred newsbooks were sold, the field test demonstrated the potential of e-book versions of investigative reports to generate revenue for news organizations even when the content could be freely accessed on their websites.
The news organizations that have participated in this project include The New York Times, Washington Post, Center for Public Integrity, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, St. Petersburg Times, Commercial Appeal and Investigative Reporters and Editors.
Fidler began developing the Digital Newsbook concept in 2001, while he was a professor of journalism and information design at Kent State University in Ohio.
The Los Angeles Times commissioned Fidler to produce the first Digital Newsbooks — in English and Spanish — for a six-part series titled “Enrique’s Journey.” They debuted at the first Tablet PC Conference, sponsored by Microsoft, Adobe and the Open eBook Forum, in New York City on Dec. 5, 2002. The series earned Pulitzer Prizes for the reporter and photographer in the following year.
Between 2002 and 2004, Fidler produced several more Digital Newsbooks for the Los Angeles Times as well as for the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post. All were made available to download from the newspapers’ websites.
In 2004, Fidler was named as the first Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow and relocated to Columbia. During his fellowship year, he worked with the Columbia Missourian and Missouri School of Journalism to field test a tablet newspaper model that built on a concept he had pursued at Knight-Ridder Inc. and Kent State University. He called the model “Electronic Media Print (eMprint)”.
Soon after founding the RJI Digital Publishing Alliance in January 2007, he began producing a new version of his Digital Newsbook model for DPA members.
The Digital Newsbooks in this catalog are free to download unless otherwise noted. The cover images are hyperlinked directly to the newsbooks or to the participating news organization’s Web pages where the newsbooks can be accessed. They can be opened and comfortably read within any PDF viewer; however, they are best read within PDF viewers that support hyperlinks. For Apple iPad owners we recommend the iBooks or Goodreader app.
American Copy Editors Society
Telling the Truth and Nothing But
2013: Practical guidelines for addressing plagiarism and fabrication within news organizations and journalism education.
Center for Public Integrity
Islam for Journalists
2017: A primer for covering Muslim communities in America. Editors: Lawrence Pintak and Stephen Franklin.
After the Meltdown
2014: The CPI revisits the subprime lenders and their backers that were most responsible for nearly collapsing the U.S. economy in 2008.
Big Oil, Bad Air
2014: This investigation of fracking in the Eagle Ford Shale region of South Texas finds some residents saying emissions are making them sick.
Consider the Source
2013: This projects seeks to “out” shadowy political organizations that have flourished in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.
2013: The stories in this newsbook explore the threats to workers — and the corporate and regulatory factors that endanger them.
Cracking the Codes
2013: This investigation documents how some medical professionals have used coding practices to collect billions of dollars in questionable fees.
Breathless and Burdened
2013: This yearlong investigation examines how doctors and lawyers have helped defeat benefit claims of miners sick and dying of black lung.
2011: A look at how massive corporations and shady lending practices have contributed to the decay of the financial system.
Sexual Assault on Campus
2010: A frustrating search for justice. A culture of secrecy surrounds higher education’s handling of sexual assault cases.
Who’s Behind the Financial Meltdown
2009: How Wall Street’s greed fueled the subprime disaster.
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
Mystery in the Fields
2013: A rare form of kidney disease is killing laborers and crippling communities in Central America, Sri Lanka and India.
The Truth Left Behind
2011: Inside the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl.
Danger in the Dust
2010: Inside the global asbestos trade and the human toll it is taking.
2009: Investigations that chart the frontlines of the global trade in smuggled cigarettes.
Investigative Reporters and Editors
The New Muckrakers
2010: A new edition of Leonard Downie Jr.’s classic textbook that provides an inside look at some of the most significant works of investigative journalism.
2010: Brant Houston’s textbook based on nearly two decades of data analysis and news reporting experience.
Understanding Crime Statistics: A Reporter’s Guide
2009: One in an ongoing series of beat books and reporting guides by Investigative Reporters and Editors.
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Las Vegas Half a World Away
2007: How some of Nevada’s largest gaming companies have helped the Chinese enclave of Macau pass the Strip in annual gaming revenues.
Memphis Commercial Appeal
Memphis & the World
2007: How one Southern city sends ripples around the globe.
New York Times
A Toxic Pipeline
2008: The articles in this Pulitzer Prize-winning series examine how dangerous pharmaceutical ingredients from China have flowed into the global market.
The DNA Age
2008: The articles in this Pulitzer Prize-winning series by Amy Harmon explore the impact of new genetic technology on American life.
2008: Articles from the Times that examine the causes of the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression.
2007: This Time special report examines the leading causes of illness and death in the United States.
2007: This Times special report looks at a cascade of new research that is trying to answer questions about sleep — and, in the process, is raising new ones.
The Space Age
2007: On October 4, 1957, a tiny satellite stunned the world. 50 years later, Science Times looks back — and ahead.
2010: Fresh approaches and new business strategies for the multimedia age.
Voyages of Discovery Into New Media
2009: How news organizations and journalists are adapting to the new realities of the digital revolution.
Let’s Talk: Journalism and Social Media
2009: How social media is transforming the way people receive and share news and information.
The Search for True North: New Directions in a New Territory
2008: Articles about the future of journalism and the news media.
21st Century Muckrakers
2008: Who are they and how do they do their work?
2007: Articles that address reporting about Islam in context and with complexity.
Tampa Bay Times
2010: High-ranking defectors provide an unprecedented inside look at the Church of Scientology and its leader, David Miscavige.
For Their Own Good
2009: An investigation into child abuse at the Florida School of Boys.
The Girl in the Window
2008: The story of Danielle Lierow, known as the feral child. A 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner.
2009: Articles from the Post examine President Obama’s first months in office.
A Woman’s World
2009: Articles on the struggle for equality around the world.
The Private Armies of Iraq
2007: This Pulitzer Prize-winning series sheds light on the private security contractors who fight a parallel and largely hidden war in Iraq.