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So much for targeting young readers in print

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Idaho, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member


    Teen People is caput. But will still be online.

    Where will my soon-to-be-teen daughter turn for her updates of Hilary Duff, Hanna Montana and Zach Efron?
  2. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    This targeting young readers may be useless. I asked a 17-year-old friend of my son's if he ever read the newspaper. Answer was no (which I knew anyway). This kid cares nothing for football, basketball or baseball, but loves skateboarding, in-line skating and every other X-game sport. So I asked him if he would read a full page or section a week about sports he loved. His answer: "naw...I still wouldn't read the paper."

    Reaching young kids with the newspaper or magazines starts with the parents and teachers encouraging them to read. I couldn't even get a kid to admit that he'd read the paper if we wrote about everything he was interested in.

    If this is the case with most kids, there's not much we can do. They've got to be reached at a much younger age -- 5 or 6 -- and have the parents taking responsibility for getting them interested in reading.
  3. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    The problem with Teen People isn't the teens - it's that the magazine tried to reach a dual-gender audience.

    It's well documented that teen boys don't read (that's one of the reasons why Harry Potter was such a smashing success... it crossed over to both boys and girls).

    Dual gender, especially in the niche world of magazines, is the kiss of death. With advertising as gender-divided as it is (even for assumed crossover products such as acne medication) it's nearly impossible to reach both audiences with one publication.

    Also, how do you develop editorial tone for both genders? There's a reason we have "women's magazines" and "laddie mags". Boys don't want to read about the new WB heartthrob or take a magazine quiz the way girls do. And girls don't want to see pictures of sick skateboarding tricks the way boys do.
  4. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    Somehow I don't think the death of Teen People is any great loss for the rising young readership.
  5. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    The death of the Abercrombie and Fitch catalog would be a bigger loss for this age group.
  6. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    FWIW, it looks like the Teen People staff/front office got blindsided by this one. The following job posting was released yesterday:

    Teen People Magazine is looking for two interns to work in the fashion closet for the fall semester. Whoever applies must be extremely organized, motivated, a hard-worker and love fashion. You will be surrounded by clothing and accessories all day long so it is imperative that you have a strong interest in it. Duties include checking in samples, returning samples, answering phones, emails, packing for shoots and assisting on shoots when needed. The internship will begin either late August or the beginning of September. Please email me a SHORT cover letter, resume, if you are available part-time or full-time, if you prefer school credit or pay (if we can) and if you prefer to work with accessories or with clothing to Joyce.huang@teenpeople.com.
  7. pressboxer

    pressboxer Active Member

    Methinks they best go for the school credit.
  8. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    This is what boggles my mind about declining youth readership: I'm 32 and I can't remember a time when I DIDN'T read the newspaper.

    Nor can I ever remember being made fun of for reading the paper or for bringing it to school. If anything, bringing the paper to school was a conversation starter. I've mentioned on The National threads how my friends and I used to pore over The National at lunch and in study hall and in history class. We were still obsessed with girls and other silly teenaged stuff, but we were almost as likely to say "Hey did you read that Scott Ostler column on page 2" or "Did you finish the crossword?" as we were to say "Hey let's go to the track meet and watch the girls hurdles."

    Has that much changed since I was growing up? My parents, particularly my dad, are/were voracious newspaper readers. But they were just like everyone else. The neighbors would go away and we'd pick up their papers and vice versa. So if you assume that kids pick up their parents habits, wouldn't people my age be reading the paper just as much as my folks a generation ago? And wouldn't they be passing that on to their children?

    I know the answer probably has something to do with the Internet and the billion and one attention-grabbing options kids have that we didn't. But I find it hard to believe it's people ages 30-45 who are responsible for turning kids off newspapers.
  9. Kritter47

    Kritter47 Member

    As a member of that younger generation that picks up a paper less and less, I would advance the opinion young readers are reading more news than previous generations.

    However, the vast majority of the content we're reading is found online. Many of the stories are newspaper articles that are available in hard copy, but without a.) the hassle of the physical piece of paper and b.) available whenever we want it.

    But we're reading. Just not in an easily quantifiable way.
  10. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    yeah, that laptop is so much less of a 'hassle' than a newspaper.

    you now are dismissed and can go to recess.
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