A new national newspaper targeted at young Australians has been launched by a former Sydney Morning Herald journalist who hopes the self-funded venture will create “a whole new generation of journalists”.
Saffron Howden, who has a two-year-old daughter, launched the new weekly paper Crinkling online yesterday. Its first printed edition will be published in April with an initial run of 5000.
Crinkling will feature local and international news stories presented in an engaging and child-appropriate way, opinion pieces and reviews written by child reporters and other stories specifically relevant to the paper’s 7-to-14 year-old audience.
The paper will be funded by a combination of its $4.50-per-week subscription model and carefully chosen sponsorships, particularly around cultural events like exhibitions, plays and musicals.
“There is an extraordinary number of partners out there with, at the moment, very few places to partner with because we don’t have a whole lot of kids publications in Australia,” Ms Howden said.
“In fact from what they tell me, they’re all crying out for this.”
Ms Howden – the editor as well as founder of Crinkling – said she had so far received an “overwhelmingly positive response” from teachers and schools, as well as a number of subscribers despite crinklingnews.com.au having been live for less than 24 hours.
Internationally, there are a number of examples of newspapers targeted at young audiences such as the UK’s First News.
While some Australian mastheads include sections dedicated to children, Ms Howden believed she saw a “gaping hole” in the market.
After leaving The Sydney Morning Herald at the end of 2015, she decided to finally execute her idea for a kids newspaper which had been “bubbling away” in her mind for a while.
“Kids absolutely are fascinated by the world around them; they want to be involved in things. There just aren’t that many ways that they can be involved in Australia,” said Ms Howden.
“(The news) is either going to be too boring for them and they’ll switch off, or it’s too gruesome a lot of the time and their parents and teachers don’t want them to see it for that reason.
“Basically anyone with children who wants them to know about the world and to read is really excited. It’s definitely gone way beyond my personal contact base very quickly.”
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