Book of the Year Award

Call for Nominations 

The American Journalism Historians Association Book of the Year Award recognizes the best books in journalism history or mass media history published during the previous calendar year.

For the 2024 award, the book must have been granted a first-time copyright in 2023. Nominated books may be co-authored, and edited collections will be considered. Authors may self-nominate, and we particularly encourage nominations of books by women, LGBTQ+ and BIPOC authors.

We welcome books that engage with critical theory as well as books published as narrative nonfiction. However, journalism and media history must be analytically central to the book’s argument, with preference given to studies about nonfiction forms of media. Moreover, authors must show evidence of primary source research based on archival documents and/or ethnographic interviews. AJHA defines “journalism history” as a continuous process, emphasizing but not necessarily confined to subjects of American mass communications. It should be viewed not in the context of perception of the current decade, but as part of a unique, significant, and time-conditioned past.

With rare exceptions, we will not consider self-published work. Authors who have self-published books that they strongly believe should be considered should explain why they've chosen this publishing route in their letters. We will only accept one entry per author.

A winner and three unranked runners-up will discuss their work at an awards panel at the 2024 American Journalism Historians Association Annual Convention, Oct. 3-5 in Pittsburgh, PA. The winner and runners-up must agree to register for and attend the AJHA conference and present at the panel.

To nominate a book for the award, please send a digital copy of the book to Dr. Jane Marcellus at no later than Feb. 1, 2024, along with a letter that includes the following statement from the author: “As the author (or editor) of this title nominated for the 2024 AJHA Book Award, I agree that if my book is chosen as a finalist, I will register for the 2024 American Journalism Historians Association Annual Convention Oct. 3-5 in Pittsburgh, PA, attend the conference, and participate in the book award panel.” Digital books will be password protected and available only to committee members. Please put BOOK NOMINATION in caps on the email subject line.

Winners will be announced in early summer. 

Please note that only submissions that follow this process will be accepted.

Questions? Contact Book Award Coordinator Dr. Jane Marcellus at

 James West won the 2023 book award for his book, "A House for the Struggle: The Black Press and the Built Environment in Chicago." West is a lecturer in Arts and Sciences at University College London and codirector of the Black Press Research Collective at Johns Hopkins University.

Read about his work and learn about the other finalists here.

Past Winners

 2023 James WestA House for the Struggle: The Black Press and the Built Environment in Chicago.


Kathy Roberts Forde and Sid BedingfieldJournalism and Jim Crow: White Supremacy and the Black Struggle for a New America
 John Maxwell Hamilton
 Manipulating the Masses: Woodrow Wilson and the Birth of American Propaganda
 2020 Mike Conway
Contested Ground: ‘The Tunnel’ and the Struggle over Television News in Cold War America
 2019Thomas Aiello
The Grapevine of the Black South: The Scott Newspaper Syndicate in the Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement
 2018 Steven Casey
The War Beat, Europe: The American Media at War Against Nazi Germany
 2017 Thomas HrachThe Riot Report and the News: How the Kerner Commission Changed Media Coverage of Black America
 2016 Leonard Teel
Reporting the Cuban Revolution: How Castro Manipulated American Journalists
 2015 Margot Opdycke Lamme
Public Relations and Religion in American History: Evangelism, Temperance, and Business
 Carol Sue Humphrey
The American Revolution and the Press: The Promise of Independence
 2013 Richard K. Popp
The Holiday Makers: Magazines, Advertising, and Mass Tourism in Postwar America
 2012 Peter Hartshorn
I Have Seen the Future: A Life of Lincoln Steffens
 2011 Mark Feldstein
Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson, and the Rise of Washington's Scandal Culture
 2010 John Maxwell Hamilton
Journalism's Roving Eye: A History of American Foreign Reporting
 2009 Ford Risley
Abolition and the Press: The Moral Struggle Against Slavery
 2008 Mary A. Hamilton
Rising from the Wilderness: J.W. Gitt and His Legendary Newspaper
 2007 Gene Roberts & Hank Klibanoff
The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation
 2006 Laurel Leff
Buried by the Times: The Holocaust and America's Most Important Newspaper
 2005 David Paul Nord
Faith in Reading: Religious Publishing and the Birth of Mass Media in America
 2004 David Greenberg
Nixon's Shadow: The History of an Image
 2003Gregory C. Lisby & William F. Mugleston
Someone Had to be Hated: Julian LaRose Harris, A Biography
 2002 Michael Sweeney
Secrets of Victory: The Office of Censorship and the American Press and Radio in World War II
 2001 John C. Hartsock
A History of American Literary Journalism: The Emergence of a Modern Form

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