Publishing Column

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There are indications that newspapers may not, in fact, be an endangered species in the age of MTV. The younger generation, born with newspaper readership in decline and destined, according to many pundits, to continue that trend, is apparently picking up the paper-reading habit--in class, and through an expanding list of youth editions, special sections, and "kids' pages'' put out by publishing giants.

The Gannett Company, publisher of USA Today and other newspapers, is now putting out a "Kids Today'' weekly, distributed through 25 of its papers. Other recent additions to the children's-edition/special-sections trend include the Chicago Tribune, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the Seattle Times.

Though expanded children's coverage is first and foremost an attempt to build the base for future newspaper readership, a story last month in the Atlanta Constitution showed that, given certain conditions, advertising revenues might be a lure for publishers. The article reported that the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's youth publication, "Class Acts,'' is actually making money--$50,000 to $100,000 last year.

Meanwhile, a new survey by the Newspaper Association of America Foundation, a cooperative program that fosters the use of newspapers by schools, shows that 89 percent of the teachers responding to the poll had used newspapers in school, an 8-percentage-point rise over the percentage recorded in 1989. The group puts the number of schools using newspapers as a curriculum aid at more than 67,000.

For more information on the N.A.A.'s Newspaper in Education and Literacy Programs, write the N.A.A. Foundation, 11600 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, Va. 22091.

The growing market in this country for multicultural books has attracted several new imprints, according to Publisher's Weekly.

Jacaranda, a Nairobi-based children's-book publisher founded in 1990, is set, according to PW, to try to create an American audience. Jacaranda recently won the Pan African Book Award for Mchesi Goes to the Market. It has released seven books in the United States through the Multicultural Publishers Exchange/Highsmith. For further information, call (800) 558-2110.

Another new imprint, Lee & Low, employs minority artists and authors and will release three books over the next two months. They include Abuela's Weave, the tale of a Guatemalan girl and her grandmother, and Baseball Saved Us, set in a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II.

Curbstone, which publishes multicultural books for adults, plans to release a series of bilingual and multicultural books for younger readers next spring.

Vol. 12, Issue 24

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