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Parents' Guide to

On the Trail: Inside the 2020 Primaries

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Diversity, strong female role models in political docu.

Movie NR 2020 93 minutes
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For teens interested in careers in television journalism, this documentary is a must-see. On the Trail: Inside the 2020 Primaries pulls no punches in presenting the challenges of the job -- the long hours, the separation from loved ones, the constant travel -- but it also shows the adrenaline rush and fulfillment the work provides. More experienced correspondents like Dana Bash and Kyung Lah reflect on how far the industry has come since the not-too-distant past when it was dominated by White males, and how the next generation of female journalists are building on this progress with their energy, fearlessness, and determination.

On the Trail: Inside the 2020 Primaries also offers an inside look at what has already become a historic election year. What begins as a frenzied glimpse into the lives of reporters constantly on the go while trying to keep pace with a 24/7 news cycle concludes with quarantine in makeshift home offices. Those who have lived it already know this contrast between the before and after of COVID-19 in their own lives, and this contrast is especially stark against the backdrop of covering campaign politics. And when the Black Lives Matter protests also emerge near the conclusion, it seems to confirm what was probably meant to be the takeaway from the documentary all along: that now, more than ever, reporting the news as it happens is absolutely necessary for a functioning democracy.

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