The Book

The Book

A Newshound's Guide to Student Journalism

“A NewsHound’s Guide to Student Journalism” is a comic book that doubles as a high school textbook to civically engage young people.

Part episodic graphic novel, part educational text, “A NewsHound’s Guide to Student Journalism” offers high school cub reporters a glimpse into the dramas, adventures and ethical conundrums that make journalism so deeply compelling, rewarding and fun. It also provides a solid underpinning of media arts values and practice.

Why is it special?

Traditional journalism textbooks offer dull lists of story elements and types—these books are not going to change the world. “A NewsHound’s Guide to Student Journalism” uses ripped-from-the-headlines narratives and realistic, relatable illustrations that challenge students to engage with the big issues of the day and of journalism. If we can fully fund this book, the country’s 10,000 media arts teachers will finally have a relevant instructional resource in a format that attracts students, meets states’ standards and provides effective classroom and reporting exercises.

The stories in “A NewsHound’s Guide to Student Journalism” revolve around a diverse cast of characters on the newspaper staff in an urban high school who find themselves in situations that prove to be learning moments for them and the readers. Many of these situations— a tipster on school election fraud who calls himself “Deep Throat,” for example, or an ambitious young reporter named Blair Jayson who plays fast and loose with the facts—will ring a bell for news junkies. Packed with reporting exercises and fundamentals of the craft woven into engaging narratives, each comic also gives readers a look at the real-life event that inspired the tale.

Imagine the power of opening an illustrated book and seeing an image of someone who looks like you getting involved in his or her school’s activities and policies. Through “NewsHound” diverse character depictions, we will encourage young people by letting them know there is a place for them in the school’s media practices.

Why is it important?

The news media is facing critical times. Without a proper foundation in what good journalism looks like, teens are susceptible to falling prey to fake news and bad journalism. As adults, it is our responsibility to make sure young people understand how important the First Amendment is to our democracy.

Together, we can use the hands-on nature of journalism and the engaging format of comic books to help young people see themselves as an integral part of the world in which they live.

What’s the deal with comics?

Every teacher knows what great aides movies are—“All the President’s Men,” “Spotlight,” “Shattered Glass.” These movies work because students experience the drama and the hustle alongside on-screen reporters. “A NewsHound’s Guide to Student Journalism”infuses that drama into a student-friendly format.

Students will meet newbie cub reporter Joe Kubble, who uncovers election fraud at his high school—that’s our Watergate story.

Then there is Blair  Jayson—she’s an eager young reporter who takes on too much too fast. Sound familiar?

Our favorite is Trixie, NewsHound’s student editor-in-chief. She’s a force to reckon with. She inspires staff, handles school administration with maturity and meets all her deadlines.

In addition, we have break-out pages and end-of-chapter sections that highlight key elements of journalism exemplified in the story.