The NewsHound's Guide to Student Journalism

illus. by Javier Guelfi. 189p. bibliog. chron. notes. McFarland. Jan. 2019. pap. $19.99. ISBN 9781476675916.
Gr 9 Up—This accessible text uses a fictional graphic narrative as a springboard to explore journalism. Vignettes featuring the staff of the high school newspaper the Hallway Monitor are interspersed between more straightforward informational passages. The students encounter scenarios inspired by true stories that relate to each chapter's concept: investigative journalism, conflicts of interest, independent sources, plagiarism, and more. Each chapter also offers a "journalistic takeaway," a "story behind the story," and classroom activities. Readers will appreciate the book's numerous examples and writing samples. The characters' mistakes make for great teaching moments, and the resolution of their errors is realistic. A particularly effective chapter, "Journalism in the 21st Century," describes how to crowdsource and verify information. Occasionally the narrative takes some leaps, leaving readers to intuit what happened during missing moments. The cast of characters include many people of color and those with different body types. However, the portrayal of some African American characters, who are depicted with oversize pale lips, reminiscent of blackface, is offensive.
VERDICT Despite the solid information found here, the racist portrayal of black characters mars this title. Not recommended.–Kacy Helwick, New Orleans Public Library

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