One of the challenges facing kids today is navigating the deluge of information and media they are exposed to — both real and fake. How do they know what to trust? A new book, Kid Reporter: The Secret to Breaking News, offers a solution. It’s co-authored by Mornington Peninsula writer Dhana Quinn.
“One of the best ways to help young people navigate the media is to teach them to be media creators themselves,” Dhana explains. “If kids know how to find reliable sources of information for their own stories, they are far more likely to know if another person’s article or social media post is based on facts.”
Kid Reporter allows kids to become news detectives and encourages critical thinking. “We look at how and why information is created and how to determine if a piece of information is reliable, accurate, misleading or simply made up.”
Dhana hopes the book will inspire young people to use their voices and participate in their communities. “Journalism informs, but it also helps to create a sense of community, and kids can play an important role in creating those connections. News isn’t just for adults. Young people care about what is happening in the world, and becoming a junior reporter helps them harness their natural curiosity and participate in an informed and empowered way.”
The book covers the essentials of journalism, including how to research, interview, photograph, write and publish, with tips on starting a school or community newspaper, podcast or TV-style news show. There are also inspiring stories from young people who’ve already started their reporting careers, as well as advice from industry experts.
The book has received the tick of approval from Australian journalists too. ABC political writer and TV presenter Annabel Crabb says: “This book is like a 200-page cadetship for the smart, curious kid in your life. Brilliant!” And former foreign correspondent Peter Greste says: “It is a wonderful, timely guide to what news is, how it’s produced, and why it matters.”
Dhana has worked for the ABC, The Age, and the children’s newspaper Crinkling News, and she was a presenter on Behind the News. She co-wrote the book with Crinkling News co-founder Saffron Howden, a veteran journalist who has worked for The Sydney Morning Herald, AAP and The Daily Telegraph.
Kid Reporter is published by NewSouth Books and is out now.