No homework required– the state of journalism today?

We’ve seen headline grabbing before. It seems to be the new wave in journalism. Forget doing your homework. Reporting is now all about making a headline. You don’t have to research your story; you just have to cash in on a trending topic.

Take this article by Jen Doll at The Atlantic Wire as the latest example. The title, “The Greatest Girl Characters of Young Adult Literature“, coupled with a picture from The Hunger Games movie, suggests an article examining a range of books up to an including Suzanne Collins’s THE HUNGER GAMES.

Then we get into the first paragraph:

This kicks off our new series, Y.A. for Grownups, in which we talk about Y.A. literature—from the now nostalgia-infused stories we devoured as kids to more contemporary tomes being read by young people today. Despite what Joel Stein wants, grownups are reading Y.A. Let’s embrace it.

Here we are further shown the article will include contemporary books. We are also told the article forms the first in a series that will look at ” Y.A. for Grownups”. This should mean crossover YA with older protagonists, but that’s not what’s featured in the article. No. The article, despite The Hunger Games mentions, lists among “The Greatest Girl Characters” mostly middle grade books. Protags of age 12 and younger.

(Do I even need to mention the Joel Stein link and reference as further proof of headline grabbing?)

Don’t get me wrong.  I love the books listed here, but they are not YA, definitely not crossover worthy, and not nearly contemporary enough. — Are “Grownups” even reading these books? Perhaps as bedtime stories to their kids. — The most recent book listed is THE BOOK THIEF, published in 2005. I wonder when the last time the author of the article actually read a book classified as a YA. Looks to be about the mid-80s with a few exceptions.

Reading through the comments, I see I am not alone in my thoughts. Many comments wonder if Jen Doll consulted with any librarians. I wonder if she even did an Internet search? How could she have missed YA book bloggers and on-line organizations, if she had?

Like I said, homework is no longer a requirement.

Maybe I’m being a little harsh, it is after all the first article in a series, but something tells me if this is the list of the “Greatest” girl characters, then the rest is going to be all downhill from here.

What are some of your favourite “Girl Characters”? Who should really be on this list?