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David Kirkpatrick Advises Journalists: ‘Write a Book, If You Possibly Can’

Today’s installment of Media Beat features former Fortune journalist and author David Kirkpatrick. He urged journalists to consider writing a book–despite a push for shorter content online and the struggles of the publishing industry.

Kirkpatrick discussed how he wrote his new book, The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World. Here’s an excerpt from the interview: “I knew for a good ten or fifteen years that I should write a book–because in our field, writing a book is the way to take your career to the next level. That’s just proven, time and time again. No matter how good you are at magazine or newspaper journalism, if you write a book (even a crummy book!), you are a book author. Somehow that changes the world’s perception of you.

He concluded: “I never could find something that I knew would keep me engaged for at least a full year of work on it. I didn’t want to get bored. I knew a lot of authors who had really gotten to hate their topic by the time they finished it. I would say write a book, if you possibly can. Even in this world we live in that’s all digital and short hits. But don’t do it unless you are passionate about the topic.”

Part One: David Kirkpatrick Predicts Facebook’s Future

Part Two: David Kirkpatrick Advises 21st Century Journalists

Media Beat is’s interview series with the movers and shakers of the media world. View all past episodes at

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