New South Publishing, Australia, 2021
Known as the co-founder of the national newspaper for children, Crinkling News, long time journalist and educator Saffron Howden has worked with journalist and TV presenter Dhana Quinn to produce this media literacy handbook, equally useful for children, teachers and parents.
The book gives step by step procedures on how to receive and produce news. It’s a guide for students and teachers on the best way to go about starting and running a student newspaper – or as media expands into the digital platforms, a podcast or videocast for that matter.
Content is broken down to: the job of the reporter (what a reporter does in pursuit of his or her job), steps in writing a story, sources of information, interviewing, recording, photographing, editing, layout of pages, criteria for inclusion and placement of content and the like. Emphasis is placed on the use of multiple and reliable sources, on verifying facts and on assessing what is fact and what is opinion, what is news and what is advertising or marketing.
This is an engaging book full of practical examples, pictures and diagrams. It explains pitfalls and precautions, but above all, encourages young news hounds. This is a book that respects the intelligence and enthusiasm of young people and those who work with them, be it as professional educators or interested, concerned parents.
Every media teacher, primary and secondary, will find this book useful, and easy to read and share with students. News consuming adults may also get some tips to bolster their own media literacy. Highly recommended.
Thank you to New South Publishing for my review copy and to Saffron Howden for a great conversation about many things media.