I use newspapers a lot in my school and library events. I like to ask the children – and adults – what they read in newspapers. The answers are usually: sport, celebrities, cartoons, puzzles, TV guide, cars, animals and news.
Lots of children read newspapers. On paper – and online. I think it is important to validate children who read newspapers, whatever subject they are finding out about. Some of them tell me that they don’t think newspapers count as real reading: that reading books is the only real reading. I like to put them right on that. Reading newspapers is just as real as reading books.
My daughter really enjoys reading First News. First News is a children’s paper with stories that will interest kids, written in a way that makes it engaging for them. She reads it cover to cover. She skips. She goes back to bits. She draws moustaches on people. I am really happy about it. If she’s engaging with an engaging newspaper, then she’s going in the right direction.
I have found newspapers particularly useful this week. The seemingly unavoidable war with Syria is the main story at he moment. I have been following it on TV and the radio, but I never quite understand the issues until I read about it in the newspapers. I think part of it is that I can go back and re-read sections to understand what is going on fully. It could also be that I fade out while watching TV or listening to the radio. Sometimes. Newspapers work best for me if I am trying to understand something.
Reading the newspaper today has helped me understand what the issues are, the pros and cons. I am still confused about what the best course of action is for our politicians to take, but at least I know why.