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March 27, 1994|CHARLES SOLOMON

DEATH BY CHEESEBURGER: High School Journalism in the 1990s and Beyond edited by Carol Knopes (The Freedom Forum, 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va. 22209: $14.95; 181 pp., illustrated, paperback original). The contributors to this perky, well-intentioned volume attempt to plot trends in high school journalism, especially issues concerning freedom of press. But the many graphs, illustrations and mini-profiles echo the look of USA Today, the bane of serious journalists. The text reveals that teen-agers who try to cover critical issues--AIDS, drug abuse, pregnancy, violence--often find themselves at odds with administrators who want them to stick to sports and pep rallies. Many of the writers seem more interested in pursuing their own PC agendas than in showcasing noteworthy student writing.

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