What is black and white and
red read all over? A newspaper, of course.
I grew up with newspapers. From the age of nine or ten – basically, the age Isaac is now – I would peruse my dad’s daily paper when he brought it home after work. We would often sit down after dinner to tackle the cryptic crossword together. (Yes, I was that nerdy.)
Later, lazy Sunday mornings with the papers were a part of our weekend routine. Sadly, that disappeared once the kids arrived – a luxury we could no longer afford in terms of time.
I’m still a bit of a news junkie. But instead of print, now Twitter is my portal to breaking news. It was in the early days of the service that tweets broke the stories surrounding the Arab Spring protests and relayed near real-time images of the drama of the Hudson river plane crash, long before traditional media outlets were even able to mobilise.
I also have multiple feeds set up using Feedly to keep me informed on my favourite sources on everything from football and TV to technology and parenting. Social media and smartphones enable me to plug into the latest events around the world in a way that simply isn’t possible with print media.
I miss the tactile nature of newspapers, though. Which is why I’m delighted by the way Isaac has embraced the weekly children’s newspaper First News in recent weeks. Targeted at seven to 14-year-olds, it is the UK’s only national newspaper specifically for young people, with a print and digital readership of over two million. That’s more than either the print editions of The Sun or the Daily Mail and more than double the combined circulation of the UK’s two leading broadsheets, the Daily Telegraph and The Times. Not bad.
Like any media outlet these days, First News has a comprehensive website. However, we have also subscribed to the print edition – First News offers a three-issue trial for just £1 – and Isaac reads it religiously every week. In recent weeks it has offered a great jumping-off point to inform him about the general election and the threat of terrorism and to prompt conversations with me about them.
I’m delighted that Isaac, already a voracious reader, has discovered the joy of reading a newspaper. He’s already adept at discovering more about the world around him using Google and YouTube but there is something pleasing about watching him take an old-school approach to keeping up with the news.
Like father, like son.
I was not paid, compensated or incentivised in any way to write this post.