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The Madera Tribune

The importance of young readership in a newspaper

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webmaster | 07/05/05

Newspapers would be more interesting to today’s young people if more issues concerning youth were covered. A mass of words in a single long sheet of paper is not very attracting to a teen’s eyes. With a teen’s agenda usually including sports, band, or clubs, there really isn’t much time or desire to sit down and read a newspaper. Considering the fact that most youth do not find literature interesting, it is hard to attract a teen when the issues in a newspaper mostly target the adult readers.

A person cannot be easily familiarized with issues concerning another age group if they are not part of it. I believe that every newspaper should have a crew of young adult reporters to seek and write stories relevant to teens today. For such a reporter, age is a major factor because teens feel more comfortable when they talk to someone their age instead of an adult. It would not only help a young person become a reporter with job experience, but it would also attract and possibly entertain the young readers of today.

Art and graphics are an important factor to consider due to the fact that some teens find it hard to sit and read a paper with nothing but writing on it. It would not only keep the reader focused but it would also make the paper look more alive.

Topics that are appealing to youth should be covered, such as music, culture, clothes, local youth events and hobbies like skating, biking, surfing, etc. Writing about these topics would make the person believe he or she is important enough in today’s society to be mentioned in a newspaper, and it would make him or her want to pick up a newspaper and read it. It’s hard to just glance at a newspaper and not read it when a person’s interests are plastered on the front page.

Interviewing local teens who have accomplished an important or difficult task is a vital feature, because teens should be recognized for their merits, which could motivate a reader to strive for a goal. In targeting the young adult readers, one should consider their interests as well as their needs. Education should be regarded to as an important aspect at all times. It is necessary to convince the reader that education will lead him or her to become a successful and respected person. That way the reader will understand the importance of education and why it should be pursued. In doing so a newspaper would not only entertain but it would also help the community become a safer and more successful environment.

An editorial board consisting of young adults with diverse backgrounds and religions should be composed.

I believe that the usage of complex vocabulary should be reduced in feature writing. These are words that might puzzle a young reader. It should be clear to staff writers that youth are currently enrolled in school and need to be looked at as learners, not masters of grammar or formal writing. The usage of slang, although not standard, will help a young reader understand the idea the story is trying to convey. A newspaper should be read for pleasure, not as an assignment.

Finally and most importantly, I would like to state the importance of young readership in a newspaper. Efforts should be made to gain the trust and eye of young readers. Not only to gain it, but also to entertain it.

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Elsa Mejia, a student at Madera High School, was one of a handful of students selected for a special journalism conference at Fresno State University. Mejia was the only person from Madera to get accepted in the all expenses paid workshop. Above is the essay Mejia wrote to get accepted into the 10-day conference.


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