How's Your News?

TV review by
Will Wade, Common Sense Media
How's Your News? TV Poster Image
Disabled reporters seek out news in honest reality show.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show follows seven people with disabilities who report on events around the country. The team faces different challenges as they interact with their interview subjects, but the show doesn't offend or exploits -- by treating the team members matter of factly, it supports their efforts to be independent and entertaining.

Violence
Sex

No sex or nudity, though some of the tream members talk to their interviewiees about dating and their sex lives.

Language

Some words are bleeped, and a few gestures are blurred out.

Consumerism

The team interviews many actors, musicians, and other celebrities. They also attend some important events, such as the Grammy Awards.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this show about a news crew made up of seven adults with various mental and physical disabilities follows the team's efforts to overcome the many challenges the disabled must face every day. It's part reality show, part news broadcast, and part documentary; while it definitely finds humor in the team's interactions with the people they interview, it doesn't exploit them. Expect some references to sex and a fair number of bleeped expletives.

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What's the story?

HOW'S YOUR NEWS? started out as a series of short films starring the people who attended Camp Jabberwocky -- a sleep-away camp in Massachusetts for those with disabilities. The seven reporters who make up the TV series' team all have some kind of mental or physical disability, from Down syndrome and near-blindness to Williams Syndrome and cerebral palsy. They travel the country in a tour bus, interviewing celebrities and attending significant events.

Is it any good?

Unlike more traditional celebrity/man-on-the-street interview shows, the How's Your News? gang's efforts to participate as equals in their conversations makes up a significant portion of the show's entertainment value. Which means that the producers (including South Park's Trey Parker and Matt Stone) have to walk a very fine line between promoting the reporters' efforts to function independently and not seeming to mock them when their challenges are most visible.

And, for the most part, they walk that line successfully. It's clear that the team's problems can be a source of misunderstanding -- and sometimes humor -- and for the most part everyone plays along. By recognizing that these incidents are just part of everyday life, the show makes everyone involved seem very real and very human.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about disabilities. How do the people on this show deal with the day-to-day realities of living with a disability? Do you think you'd be able to adjust to having any of these conditions? Do you think the show portrays the team members accurately and fairly? Does the series seem sympathetic to their issues, or does it sometimes feel to be mocking them? Is that just part of being treated like everyone else? If not, why?

TV details

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