Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Choosing News: What gets reported and why by Barb Palser

Choosing News: What Gets Reported and Why

(part of the Exploring Media Literacy series)

by Barb Palser

Capstone. 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7565-4517-8

(Grades 7-12)

The reviewer received a copy of this book from the publisher.

As states move to adopt the Common Core Standards, Choosing News: What gets reported and why by Barb Palser is a good addition to public or middle and high school libraries because it reinforces the need to be mindful of where we get our news. The author poses questions to encourage readers to think about influences that could affect what news gets reported and why. “Many media companies are owned by large corporations. These corporations also own other types of businesses. For example, did you know that The Walt Disney Company owns the ABC television network, including ABC News?” If someone was hurt at a Disney theme park, would ABC be expected to report the story?

Choosing News is divided into six chapters. It covers all the basics: what is news, accuracy and credibility, fairness and bias, other types of news media, citizen journalism, and how to be a smart news consumer. Chapters are short with a readable text. Interspersed throughout each chapter are side bars that explain in more detail what is being discussed along with pictures that are well-captioned. Included is a glossary, additional resources (books and web sites) source notes, bibliography, and index. A series of exercises expand the book and offer ways students can become more media literate.

Is the author qualified to write a book on this topic? Yes! Palser is an experienced journalist. She is a feature writer for American Journalist Review and is director of digital media at McGraw-Hill Broadcasting Company.

Choosing News would fit in a display that includes novels about school newspapers: Peeled by Joan Bauer, Adam Canfield of the Slash by Michael Winerip, Girl Reporter Blows Lid Off Town by Linda Ellerbee, A Matter of Principle by Susan Beth Pfeffer, The Truth About Truman School by Doris H. Butler, and Andrew Clements, The Landry News.

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