News Corp Australia’s News in the Community program has announced the launch of a free national news website Kids News with the aim to inspire the next generation of readers through the power of news.
News Corp already publishes kidspot.com.au, which aims to help parents take care of the family.
The news to launch Kidsnews.com.au comes after Saffron Howden and Remi Bianchi, the founders of kids newsbrand Crinkling News, pulled the plug in January this year on the venture despite raising over $200,000 via crowdfunding in 2017.
Kids News will offer students and teachers a literacy tool for the classroom, helping to improve children’s general knowledge and thirst for information, teaching them the importance of relying on trusted news sources.
Chairman of the Herald & Weekly Times and News Corp Australia’s Community Ambassador Penny Fowler said: “We are immensely proud of News Corp’s passionate and principled contributions, giving back to the communities in which we serve across the country.
“The launch of a national news site for school children is an important part of News Corp’s commitment to educating the next generation, improving children’s literacy, and investing in readers of the future, through our News in the Community program.
“We hope students around the country will embrace this dedicated news site, and teachers find it an invaluable tool to better educate and inform their students about what is happening in Australia and around the world.”
Kids News content will be sourced from News Corp’s key newspapers and websites including the Herald Sun, The Daily Telegraph, The Courier-Mail, The Advertiser, The Mercury and NT News, as well as from its regional papers and community titles.
The site is isolated, so it does not link to outside news sources, meaning students can use it safely in a supervised or unsupervised environment or for independent learning.
Former Herald Sun associate editor (Lifestyle), Toni Hetherington, who championed the initiative and has overseen a successful pilot, has been appointed to the newly created role of national education publisher – and will assume responsibility for the new, national kidsnews.com.au site.
Hetherington said: “Thanks to the generous support from the Herald & Weekly Times and News Corp’s News in the Community initiative, the uptake and positive feedback from schools has been phenomenal.
“The site averages almost three million page views a year, and an average time on site of almost five minutes. We are now ready to take it to the rest of Australia and let other schools experience the wonder of learning through relevant news stories.”
Hetherington said Kids News had attracted both state and national support, with advertisers including Hewlett Packard and the Melbourne Cricket Club.
“Kids News offers both national and local advertisers access to a niche and engaged audience including students, teachers and parents. And the fact the site encourages learning is very attractive to advertisers,” Hetherington said.
Pictured above: Penny Fowler and Toni Hetherington