KIDS’ PA­PER SPARKS GLOBAL IN­TER­EST

The Bulletin - - Front Page - BY LACH­LAN BENNETT

A NEW na­tional news­pa­per aimed at young Aus­tralians and launched by a for­mer Syd­ney

Morn­ing Her­ald jour­nal­ist has re­ceived an over­whelm­ing re­sponse from its tar­get mar­ket, par­ents, teach­ers and schools both locally and over­seas.

Saf­fron How­den launched the self-funded ven­ture Crin­kling

News on­line in Jan­uary and said the weekly pa­per had se­cured more than 500 paid sub­scrip­tions de­spite its first print edi­tion not ar­riv­ing un­til April.

Sub­scrip­tions have rolled in from across Aus­tralia, but also from ex­pa­tri­ates and schools in Ja­pan, Croa­tia, South Korea, Canada and Amer­ica. Its web­site

Crin­klingNews.com.au re­ceived 9000 unique vis­i­tors and 30,000 page im­pres­sions in its first two weeks of op­er­a­tion.

“Be­cause there is noth­ing like this in Aus­tralia, peo­ple have got­ten re­ally ex­cited about it, which is fan­tas­tic,” Ms How­den said.

“We’re high enough qual­ity that schools are sort of tak­ing us on board to use in the class­rooms.”

Crin­kling News will have an ini­tial print-run of 5000 and, based on the re­sponse so far, Ms How­den hopes to dou­ble that by the end of the year.

The pa­per will fea­ture lo­cal and international news sto­ries pre­sented in an en­gag­ing and child-ap­pro­pri­ate way and other sto­ries rel­e­vant to its 7-to-14 year-old au­di­ence.

Ms How­den also hopes the pa­per will cre­ate “a whole new gen­er­a­tion of jour­nal­ists” by pub­lish­ing re­views and opin­ion pieces writ­ten by child re­porters.

Crin­kling News will be funded by a com­bi­na­tion of its $4.50-per-week sub­scrip­tion model and care­fully cho­sen ad­ver­tis­ing, par­tic­u­larly around cul­tural events like ex­hi­bi­tions, plays and mu­si­cals. Some schools have also ex­pressed in­ter­est in ca­sual ad­ver­tis­ing.

“There is an ex­tra­or­di­nary num­ber of part­ners out there at the mo­ment look­ing for part­ner-

ships 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.”

After leav­ing The Syd­ney

Morn­ing Her­ald at the end of 2015, Ms How­den de­cided to fi­nally ex­e­cute her long-stand­ing idea for a kids’ news­pa­per, fill­ing what she saw as a “gap­ing hole” in the mar­ket.

“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,” she said.

“(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.”

Saf­fron How­den . . . “noth­ing like this in Aus­tralia”

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