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A newspaper for kids

The amount of every day news is enormous and it’s hard to orientate and to always understand the reasons behind them. Even more so when you’re young. Aftenposten Junior and Svenska Dagbladet Junior explain the world we’re living in for children.

It all started after july 22, 2011, when 77 people where killed in the terror attacks in Oslo and at Utøya. After the massacre, media all over the world were reporting and showing pictures of one of the most unexplainable tradgedies we’ve seen. The need to try to explain what happened was a challenge for many parents. The information was out there for their kids to read, but not in a very children friendly way.

Schibsted’s Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten recognised the need and decided to make a printed news paper for children – on childrens’ terms.

The project started off with 200 interviews with children. Asking what they wanted to know and how. The children answered: a grown-up paper but in a way that they could understand.

Junior, Guinnes Verdensrekorder Junior og Kjelsås skole setter verdensrekord i største praktiske fysikktime. Bilde: Elever ved Kjelsås skole. Fysiker Andreas Wahl er læreren. Foto: Monica Strømdahl

Aftenposten Junior, Guinnes Book of Junior Records and Kjelsås school sets the world record for largest physics school lecture with teacher Andreas Wahl.

Here’s a few advices that the editors followed:

  • shorter articles
  • lots of pictures
  • nice colours
  • good paper quality
  • structured articles with questions and answers
  • solutions – ”they do like this, we can also do like that”
  • not too many pages
  • columnists who give answers to things kids are thinking about
  • lots of temperament and humour

The paper was an immediate success, when launched.

One important factor is the on-going interaction – The journalists at Aftenposten Junior are living with their readers. They are out visiting schools almost every week and children often visit the news room – all just to make sure that the paper is on track. There is also junior reporters and children contribute with drawings and questions on subjects like science and relations.

Seeing the success our Swedish paper Svenska Dagbladet copied the concept and Junior in Sweden now has more than 10 000 subscribers. Apart from publishing the paper once a week, the editorial team in Sweden is also part of – or arranges – several events. Last summer youth reporters interviewed politicians at Almedalen, they have participated in the book fair in Gothenburg and they are a partner for a literature price for young people – to mention some. Junior in Sweden has also had some major successes in social media. Like when Bill and Melinda Gates foundation shared the interview Junior reporter Fatma made with Melinda Gates.

Melinda Gates möter Juniorreportern Fatma.
Foto: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman, SvD