By paulgillin | July 26, 2007 - 11:32 am - Posted in BusinessModel, Circulation, Demographics, Newspapers

A journalism professor suggests that newspapers should reach out to younger readers, noting that most columnists are in their 40s and 50s. A few papers have tried this with dedicated pages or sections authored by teens, but the efforts have appeared half-hearted. My own hometown paper, The Boston Globe, has had a teens page for years, but it always struck me as looking like something designed by someone in their 40s for a teen audience. That doesn’t work.

One approach that does work was to give papers away to schools as required reading in social studies classes. For the last year, my teenage son read the Boston Herald every day because the school got the paper for free. Perhaps this is a good use for the all copies newspapers are no longer printing because of circulation declines. The marginal cost of printing extra issues and adding them to existing delivery routes is nominal. At least it gets the product in the hands of people who may be long-term readers in the future.

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