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Four publications receive API-supported awards for young reader programs from WAN-IFRA

PARIS – The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers has announced its World Young Reader Prize winners for 2013, including awards to four publications that earned distinctions in American Press Institute-supported “Enduring Excellence” categories.

Participatory projects from The New York Times and The Guardian tied the two publications for the top distinction in “Enduring Excellence in Learning with the News.” The category honors publishers with longstanding young reader initiatives that help youth better understand the news and how the news works. Silver awards for “Enduring Excellence, Public Service,” also supported by API, went to long-established reading programs at The Philippines Daily Inquirer and the Tampa Bay Times.

The four publications make up a handful of the 21 titles from 14 countries honored in the WAN-IFRA World Young Reader Prizes, which celebrate achievement worldwide in newspaper engagement with the young. Categories span from news literacy projects to projects that involve youth in the newsmaking practices and one World Young Reader Country of the Year — this year India — which acknowledges a country with many news publishers finding innovative ways to attract young people to the news.

The American Press Institute supported its awards along with Schurz Communications and in honor of Scott Schurz, head of WAN-IFRA’s committee for youth engagement and news literacy. Schurz is chairman of Hoosier-Times, Inc., a subsidiary of Schurz Communications, Inc., of which he serves as a vice-chairman. In addition to a history of newspaper work, he also previously served on the board of directors for the Newspaper Association of America and as Newspaper Association of America Foundation chairman and vice-chairman. (API and the NAA Foundation merged in 2012.)

“Schurz has been dedicated to the advancement of young reader programs since the 1960s and he’s made a difference, too,” said Margaret Vassilikos, executive vice president and CFO of the Newspaper Association of America and the former Newspaper Association of America Foundation. “It was our privilege to join Schurz Communications in financially supporting an award honoring the labor of others working toward the same goal: educating our youngest readers about news, getting them interested in how news works and inviting them to participate.”

The awards will be presented during WAN-IFRA’s Youth Engagement Summit set for December 2-4 in Warsaw, Poland.
TOP AWARDS: ENDURING EXCELLENCE, LEARNING WITH THE NEWS

  • The New York Times won the top ranking in Enduring Excellence for its The Learning Network resource, a daily blog with online teaching and learning resources to use with New York Times content.From the judges: “The Learning Network does a fantastic job of making it easy for teacher to use the news. This is an excellent, useful effort and shows the kind of commitment our industry must have to teaching the young about news. It is an effective approach that any media company can adapt to replicate.”The Times started the project in 1998. The site now publishes seven to eight features every weekday during the school year, and four to five during the summer. Weekday content includes a lesson plan based on Times content, a news quiz, word of the day, a student opinion question about an issue in the news and more.
  • The Guardian shared the top award for its Guardian Education Center, a project that teaches students about how a media company functions and how journalism works.From the judges: “This is amazingly impressive, important work by the Guardian to educate children on the workings of a media company and of journalism. For eleven years, they have provided a great facility with a dedicated staff that offers a hands-on experience for free to student classes. That’s a wonderful commitment.“The Guardian started the project in 2002. The Center currently offers programs that shows the rigors of newsgathering and the news production process at The Guardian. Workshops are available for primary and secondary schools and sessions are available for higher education groups, teachers, adult learners and families.

SILVER AWARDS: ENDURING EXCELLENCE, PUBLIC SERVICE

  • The WAN-IFRA judges awarded the Tampa Bay Times as a silver award winner for its work with Reading with the Rays, a summertime reading program for ages 9 to 11 centered around baseball.From the judges: “This is a fabulous way to involve students in reading during summer vacation, a time of disengagement for young reader programs. The strategy could transfer to any country’s main sport!”Tampa Bay Times started the project in 2008.
  • The Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippines, also received the silver for its Read-Along Festival, an annual program for ages 7 to 13 with interactive and wacky storytelling sessions with celebrities and other role models.From the judges: “This wonderful public service activity has its costs covered and offers fantastic visibility. The choice of inspirational public figures is brilliant, and the growth and demand of this program since its inception clearly demonstrates its success.”The Philippine Daily Inquirer started the project started in 2007.

View the other World Young Reader Prize award recipients here.

Building upon the work of the NAA Foundation, the American Press Institute is currently evaluating and working to further develop its resources for young readers and the promotion of news literacy. If you have ideas about resources the Institute could provide to support youth news literacy, email Program Coordinator Kevin Loker at kevin.loker@pressinstitute.org.

ABOUT WAN-IFRA

WAN-IFRA, based in Paris, France, and Darmstadt, Germany, with subsidiaries in Singapore and India, is the global organisation of the world’s newspapers and news publishers. It represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. Its core mission is to defend and promote press freedom, quality journalism and editorial integrity and the development of prosperous businesses.

ABOUT THE WORLD YOUNG READER PRIZES

The World Young Reader Prizes are part of WAN-IFRA’s efforts to recognise, encourage and disseminate innovative ideas and thinking to help build stronger and vital news media. World Young Reader Prize winning strategies are celebrated and shared, as they benefit not only the media companies and their young audiences, but society as a whole.

ABOUT AMERICAN PRESS INSTITUTE

The American Press Institute conducts research, offers education, convenes thought leaders and creates tools to help chart a path ahead for journalism in the 21st century. Founded in 1946, its mission is to help the news industry fulfill the purpose of the First Amendment of sustaining a free press in the public interest. In February 2012, the institute merged with Newspaper Association of America Foundation. The American Press Institute is located in Arlington, VA.  For additional information about the American Press Institute, please visit www.americanpressinstitute.org.

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