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Panpa Bulletin : March 2006
30 | PaNPa bUlletiN March 2006 coNteNt StrateGIeS for YounG reaDerS 7 LEARN FROM ScHOOL BOOkS They are very different from what we had in our school years. They are cool! From the point of view of design and presentation young readers will not accept anything less than that. 8 RESPEcT THEM Mark Levine is the founder and publisher of Kids Discover and his message is: “treat young readers with respect. they are savvy and aware”. Rachel Smolkin writes in the american Journalism review: “to judge from the recent moves of several major dailies, we 18-to-34 year-olds are a coveted but hopelessly stupid segment of the population...We should put the new tabloids in the trash where they belong and focuson improving our newspapers. for instance, the Wall Street Journal excels at substantive, youth-oriented articles, particularly in its ‘Personal Journal’ section.” 9 ANTIcIPATION AND ANALYSIS carlos Soria, president of INNOVATION doubts the notion that young people are not interested in the news: “this is the wrong way to formulate the problem. i have no doubt the new generations are news oriented. but in the past newspapers were in the business of news before it’s news. today, we are in the business of news after it’s news. and this is what these new readers want: analysis, analysis, analysis. yesterday’s news are not news to them anymore. News is a commodity and newspapers are not the main providers of news anymore. the name of the game is providing analysis of what’s next. learn from the economist. you can be very serious, successful and attract young readers with post- news journalism: 49 percent of the economist’s readers are less than 45 years old, and every week, over a million copies of the economist are sold in 102 countries with a 74 percent growth over the last 10 years. it works!” François Dufour, founder of Play Bac, agrees: “our kids and teens know what’s going on, and what they want is ‘what does it mean’ stories.” 10 kEEP SEEkINg DIVERSITY “at voices,” says its editor Lisa Scheid, “we cast a large net into the teen community, taking anyone willing to apply to the section. that way we get varying abilities, beliefs, interests and backgrounds. there are many ways to seek diversity - just keep doing it. it also keeps you clued into what’s up in the various cliques in schools.” 11 cOVER STORIES FOR EVERYONE we need to learn, again, from magazines. Most editors say they stick to the 80 percent rule. 80 percent of your cover stories should appeal to 80 percent of your readers. And remember Robert Stolley’s covers Law: “young always sells more than old. Women more than men. television more than movies. Music more than sport. and anything else more than politics.” 12 gOOD DESIgN? YES, BuT cONTENT FIRST Harry Potter, a great story in 600 pages of text with no illustrations or pictures. Average age of reader: 11 years old. The books are best-sellers, but the movies are much less popular. Never underestimate the power of words and ideas. Design is crucial to deliver any message but you can’t cheat young readers with just fashy cosmetics or pure decoration.