Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Monday, July 24, 2023

Breaking News : Why Media Matters by Raina Delisle

Breaking News: Why Media Matters

Book 10 in the Orca Think series

Raina Delisle; Illustrated by Julie McLaughlin

Orca Book Publishers. 2023

As we head into the next presidential election, making sure we can detect facts from fake news is a must. In, Breaking News, Canadian journalist, Raina Delisle, an award-winning writer whose work as been featured in magazines, newspapers, and on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), offers a very balanced look at the media industry, its history, its role of keeping the public informed, and the challenges news outlets face with the rise of disinformation (fake news) on social media sites.

The six chapters are: News You Can Use; Media Matters; Making the News; Press Under Pressure; Saving Journalism; Become a News House. 

The narrative is engaging and takes into account the many challenges news outlets face today, and throughout history. In Chapter Four, Press Under Pressure, Delisle states: “News organizations and journalists face lots of challenges today, many of which have been brought on or intensified by the internet and social media.” Delisle explores how, in the early days of the internet, media outlets offered their stories for free. As people became dependent on the free news sites, to save money, they canceled their print subscriptions. Thus, advertisers moved their ads online, to Google and Facebook, making it challenging, or impossible, for many newspapers and magazines to stay in business. 

Competing for readers attention has brought about journalists writing more sensational stories. “If it bleeds, it leads.” 

Delisle does an excellent job of balancing the negative with the positive. For example, though many newspapers and magazines have shuttered newsrooms, leaving many small towns with no local news, there is a growing movement of non-profit news outlets that are fighting fake news by reporting the facts. 

Side bars are throughout giving more details of what is explained in the text.

Included is a glossary, a list of resources, and index.

I personally found the book insightful and gave me tools to better help me tell fact from fake news as I look for news I can believe. 

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