A children’s newspaper, launched by a former Fairfax Media journalist, has attracted a readership of 20,000 in its first six months.
Crinkling News, a weekly covering local and international affairs, has 3,500 paying subscribers including around 500 schools.
Founder and editor Saffron Howden, who used to work at The Sydney Morning Herald, said the publication had “taken off like a rocket” and predicted 10,000 subscribers within 12 months.
“I have made sure that the quality of journalists, photographers and editors who work on it can deliver a superior product for kids,” she said.
Some of its contributors include former Fairfax journalists Ruth Pollard and Rick Feneley.
Readers also participate. Children write opinion pieces and reviews, and one interviewed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for the paper’s launch.
Ms Saffron recently held a workshop called Journalism for Juniors, in which the 70 participants were taught to write a news story. Two children from Ballarat were so inspired they have launched their own paper, The Monthly Rat.
Eleven-year-old reader Declan said he has learnt so much from the paper over the past couple of months. “Our whole family likes to read a paper when we are having breakfast and now I don’t get to miss out,” he said.
Crinkling News secured its first retail distributor this week, a new Melbourne bookstore called Readings Kids. The paper is funded by a mix of $4.50-a-week subscriptions and advertising. Major clients include the Museum of Contemporary Arts, Penguin Books and UNICEF.
While Crinkling News is Australia’s only national newspaper for kids, there are numerous child-oriented papers overseas such as First News in UK, which has over two million readers.
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