As legacy media newsrooms are cutting back and fighting declining subscriptions, one young newspaper is growing and celebrating its first birthday this week.
Crinkling News is Australia’s first children’s newspaper, and editor Saffron Howden told Crikey its re-subscription rate (which is not automatic) has been more than 60%, and the venture is close to being financially sustainable. Subscription numbers are not published, but Howden told Crikey in August last year that the magic number for self-sustainability would be more than 5000 subscribers. In August last year, they had about 3000.
“It’s definitely met our expectations of daily growth, and exceeded them,” Howden said.
Crinkling relies entirely on freelancers for its content, and Howden said since recent cutbacks at News Corp Australia and Fairfax Media, she had received more enquiries from experienced journalists about contributing.
“We’ve been getting more enquiries and we expect more, and that’s a double-edged sword. It’s sad when you see your colleagues worried for their jobs and the impact on quality in the newspapers. We’re getting more enquiries from people trying to work out what they’re going to do next,” Howden said.
Crinkling joined the Australian Press Council in December — the first children’s publication to do so.
Howden said the paper was available in more than 700 schools across Australia, and she is currently running a campaign for junior assistant editors to contribute to Crinkling. — Emily Watkins
Note: An earlier version of this story included an error in Crinkling News‘ re-subscription rate.