Decolonizing Journalism

Closing out Native American Heritage Month, this week's review offers tips for respectful reporting on Indigenous communities.

Decolonizing Journalism: A Guide to Reporting in Indigenous Communities

McCue, Duncan. Oxford, 2023
232p bibl index, 9780190164263 $45.00, 9780190164270

Decolonizing Journalism: A Guide to Reporting in Indigenous Communities book cover.

As profound as it is practical, this textbook is an indispensable resource for journalism students. McCue (Carleton Univ., Canada) provides detailed guidance for covering Indigenous communities, from story ideas to post-publication protocol. Thoroughly researched but written conversationally, the book divides chapters into short sections equipped with learning objectives, exercises, discussion questions, and further readings. McCue, an Anishinaabe, builds on Gregory Younging’s Elements of Indigenous Style (Brush Education, 2018) by revealing the often destructive portrayals of Indigenous people in the mass media. The seasoned Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio host laces the book with humor while addressing taboo topics such as “Indian time.” McCue acknowledges that Indigenous nations and their customs vary widely, eschewing a one-size-fits-all approach to reporting. He admits when issues, such as intergenerational rage, evade simple solutions. The final chapter features poignant interviews with nine Indigenous journalists whose insights reinforce the book’s tenets. The book focuses on Canadian journalism but employs examples from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Nicaragua. Exceeding the scope of its title, the book offers universal news-gathering lessons beneficial to reporters at any career stage.

Summing Up: Essential. Undergraduates through faculty; professionals.
Reviewer
: T. Espe, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Interdisciplinary Subjects: Canadian Studies, Native American Studies, Racial Justice
Subject: Humanities – Communication
Choice Issue: Nov 2023


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