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Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Breaking The News Blog Tour (interview and giveaway)


Welcome to the Breaking the News Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of Breaking the News by Robin Terry Brown on October 13th, blogs across the web are featuring original content from Breaking the News, plus 5 chances to win a hardcover copy!


With Robin Terry Brown

Q: Tell us a little bit about Breaking the News.
In the current media and political environment, the lines between truth and fiction are becoming increasingly blurred. Breaking the News provides a toolkit that readers can use to become critical thinkers about the media they consume. They’ll learn how to identify authoritative sources, how to recognize the telltale signs of misinformation, how to distinguish truth from propaganda, and how to become master fact-checkers.

What makes Breaking the News unique is that it combines this practical, how-to information with the bigger picture—how we got from there to here. The book takes a step back and teaches young people about the first amendment, propaganda, and what sets authentic journalism apart from everything else. 

And since it’s a National Geographic book, of course it’s filled with great photographs and a colorful design to help keep kids engaged.

Q: As you began writing Breaking the News, what about this topic surprised you most?
We know that people have a hard time discerning fact from fiction online, but seeing the actual numbers—for both young people and adults—was really eye-opening. One poll found that 44 percent of kids say they can’t tell fake stories from real ones. And an experiment conducted with adults found that they believed false “news” reports about 20 percent of the time. 

Q: Why do you think it’s so important for young people to be able to decipher fact versus fiction in the news?
Young people are growing up in a world where news comes through social media feeds in addition to television or newspapers. Authentic news and false information exist side by side online and can look almost exactly the same. If we can teach young people how to think critically about the news now, we can set them on a path to become responsible, well-informed citizens. 

Q: Was there a real news story or event that inspired you to write this book?
There were so many, but two really stood out. In the infamous “Pizzagate” incident in late 2016, a conspiracy theory went viral, falsely accusing a Washington, D.C., pizzeria of harming children. As a result, an unstable man who believed the story walked in and fired an assault rifle into the restaurant. And then the ultimate wake-up call came during the 2016 elections, when Russians set up thousands of false social media accounts to try to influence voters. I wrote about both in the book as examples of why false information is so dangerous. 

Q: How can young people best utilize Breaking the News?
The upcoming presidential election offers a great learning opportunity for readers to put the book’s guidance into practice. They can follow the election coverage online and learn how to distinguish between news, opinion, and propaganda. Young people can use the book’s “Truth Toolkit” to identify false information on social media. And they can use the fact-checking guide to see if the facts distributed by the presidential campaigns pass muster.

But the need for media literacy stretches far beyond the election, and my wish is that this book can play a part in helping young people become smart, savvy media consumers.


Blog Tour Schedule:

November 2ndBookhounds

November 3rd - Word Spelunking

November 4th - Always in the Middle

November 5th - From the Mixed-Up Files

November 6th - Feed Your Fiction Addiction

"Robin Terry Brown's 'Breaking the News,' written in consultation with several journalism luminaries, is laid out the way magazines used to be, with captivating images, bite-size fact-filled blurbs and intuitive design. "Breaking the News" urges young people to leave their social media feeds and "read reliable news and information from many different sources."
The New York Times

"[Breaking the News] provides a sharp-looking survey that examines the history of news-how it began, how it evolved, and what consumers of all ages must consider before accepting a truth as the truth. Cool bits of history, funny hoaxes, and the scary reality of propaganda are packed in simple bites easy to absorb. Excellent design and a clear narrative help readers navigate the vast and fast-changing concept of news."

Visit the WebsiteRead an Excerpt

Educator Guide

Follow National Geographic Kids: Website | Twitter | Books Twitter | Facebook | Youtube

Headlines leap out at us from mobile phones, TV screens, computers, newspapers, and everywhere we turn. Technology has opened up exciting new ways to tell interesting stories, but how much of it is news ... and how much is just noise? This refreshing and up-to-date media literacy book gives kids the tools they need to distinguish what is fact from what is fiction so that they can make smart choices about what to believe.

Topics cover a broad range, from defining freedom of speech, the journalists' code of ethics, the dangers of propaganda, and the future of news.

Packed with profiles of influential journalists, fun facts, and iconic photographs, this ultimate guide to the information age will get kids thinking about their relationship and responsibility to media.

About the Author: ROBIN TERRY BROWN graduated from the master's program at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism with a passion for writing, editing, and getting the facts straight. She carried this passion throughout her 17-year career as a senior editor with National Geographic. Brown currently lives with her husband in northern Virginia, where she works as a writer, editor, and truth-seeker.

SUSAN GOLDBERG, contributor, is an award-winning journalist, editorial director of National Geographic Partners, and editor in chief of National Geographic magazine. Prior to National Geographic, Goldberg was an executive editor at Bloomberg News in Washington, D.C. She has also held posts at several news organizations, including The Plain Dealer, San Jose Mercury News, USA Today, the Detroit Free Press, and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In 2017, Washingtonian magazine named Goldberg one of Washington, D.C.'s most powerful women.

Follow Susan: Instagram | Twitter


  • One (1) winner will receive a hardcover copy of Breaking the News
  • Check out the other four stops for more chances to win
  • US/Can only
  • Ends 11/15 at 11:59pm ET

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Danielle H. said...

I always turn to educational sites and government sites when researching and fact-checking.

Linda H said...

I cross reference between a few sources on a story.