The New York Times this month launches a second edition of a print-only section for children six months after the first and has announced that it will go monthly from January next year. According to the NYT the first edition, in May, sparked an online petition to make the kids section a regular feature in the paper.
It is yet another sign of the continuous and renewed interest of people – young and old – in print, and part of the NYT’s ambitions to reimagine its print products. Late last month Print Power reported how the newspaper was looking to building a stronger subscription base by bringing customers more of what they wanted.
The kids section includes sport, national news, food, opinion, plus arts and intends to mimic regular sections in the NYT. The section will have a dedicated editor and feature a visually engaging mix of news, illustrations, photography and how-to’s meant to engage young readers.
Jake Silverstein, editor-in-chief of The New York Times Magazine said: “Our goal here is not only to help kids learn about the complex world they live in, but also to give them a taste, through a section designed just for them, of the pleasures of print media.”
Reimaging the uses of the print newspaper
It is part of an ongoing initiative by the NYT to “reimagine the uses of the print newspaper”, which has also seen it debut a 'puzzle spectacular' section and excerpts of award-winning book ‘The Underground Railroad’.
That a publication the stature of the NYT is ploughing funds into print is testimony to its commitment in its future – and its appeal to a younger generation.
Meanwhile, in the UK, First News, the weekly newspaper for seven to 14-year-olds, recorded the highest circulation among children’s magazines in the latest figures issued by the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC).
The weekly full-colour tabloid was founded 11 years ago and has been enjoying year-on-year growth for the past five. In the first six months of 2017 it topped the charts, beating the likes of branded magazines about Lego, Peppa Pig and Disney’s Frozen.
Success of NYT's kids supplement and First News demonstrates that – contrary to popular opinion – young people like reading print, often over digital alternatives.
In fact, a recent survey by reading charity BookTrust with the UK’s Open University found that children prefer print books to e-books for both reading for pleasure and for education.
The study revealed that 76% of surveyed parents found their children prefer print books for reading for pleasure and 69% prefer print books for educational reading.