World Association of News Publishers

World Young Reader Prize Winners - 2009

World Young Reader Prize Winners - 2009

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Zero Hora

(Brazil - 183,010 daily and 247,581 on Sundays)

WHAT THEY DID: Zero Hora had been a consistent winner of World Young Reader Prize awards in 2004, 2007 and 2008, thanks to its all-encompassing view of youth as an integral part of its staff and audience. This year's entries described an editorial project linking to the "firsts" in a child's life, a contest celebrating hyperlocal "gaucho" identity and a promotion in which youth created an album using stickers and symbols from the paper to learn about Brazil's 19th century revolutionary period.

Express & Echo

(Exeter, UK - 22,000 daily)

WHAT THEY DID: Though it is a small daily, Express & Echo is taking a big role in a crucial issue of our time: the environment. The paper previously won the 2008 World Young Reader Prize for brand for targeting young people in the creation of a re-usable shopping bag that became the norm in the whole community. This year, Express & Echo won a jury commendation for its Green Team Project that encourages youngsters to develop a relationship with their local newspaper as they learn to think green and produce school projects that will help the environment.

TOP PRIZE: EDITORIAL STRATEGY - Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung

(Osnabruck, Germany - 168,000) for Blue magazine by OsCommunity social network

WHAT THEY DID: Blue magazine is a regional, cross-media and user-generated youth magazine that emerged from content created by the OsCommunity, an online network that covers issues related to youth who are under 24. The lead stories link to relevant themes in the community and a banner on OsCommunity announces each issue, which contains ads that are available in print and online. Activities to promote the magazine include visiting open-air pools and lakes as well as guerilla-style marketing. Innovative, well executed and managed, the project reflected vitality, originality and success. No avenue was left to chance, according to the judges. It was well conceived, reflected pre-planning and clearly set out its aims and objectives. Its implementation and execution were innovative and the evaluation showed both anecdotal and statistical results. Both the approach and the enthusiasm for the project is clear in the submission which is concise and gives the judges a strong indication of the vitality of this project.

TOP PRIZE: Newspapers in Education (NIE) - Svobodnyi kurs

(Barnaul, Russia - 23,000 weekly) for Adventure educational game "strategy A"

WHAT THEY DID: Adventure educational game "Strategy A" offers an innovative multiplatform use of newspaper content to help students learn about finance. The effort earned high marks for its innovation, use of technology and appeal to its target audience. The judges described the project as a novel way to promote financial studies since the tasks that students were asked to complete focused on economics and management. In addition, the project is transferable, fun, involves logic and uses the traditional newspaper to solve various challenges.


(Kottayam, India - 1.7 million daily) for SAVE (Serve As a Volunteer For Energy)

WHAT THEY DID: The SAVE energy conservation community contest is an environmentally friendly reader participation opportunity that helps household budgets and the environment. The program creates awareness about the need for saving energy and provides practical methods for achieving that goal. With a clever acronym, which clearly labels the project and its purpose, this project uses competition to maintain momentum and interest. Children's personal stories are published along with the contests, puzzles and cartoons. Different media platforms are used to ensure the campaign is given a high profile throughout the contest and the campaign seems to generate its own energy. It not only created an awareness of the carbon footprint but also gave participants a constructive project to actually do something now, rather than just talk about the problem. Income revenue from advertising was another major advantage of this campaign.

TOP PRIZE: BRAND - Dagblad de Limburger/Limburgs Dagbladburg

(Limburg, The Netherlands - 191,456 six times per week) for Coolest Teacher in Limburg Election

WHAT THEY DID: Coolest Teacher in the Limburg region is an annual contest for teachers who work in a secondary schools in the area. Well-planned and executed, the judges said they liked how the project touched both students and teachers, who were cast as "protagonists for once." In an American Idol like competition format, both students and the readership had a chance to cast their vote. The teachers received makeovers and the schools united behind their contestants for this fresh, fun contest, which culminated in a disco-themed finale.


(Rome, Italy - 618,171 daily) for Repubblica@scuola

WHAT THEY DID: This project taught young people about professional journalism by doing and by having meaningful interaction with reporters and editors. The platform afforded students an opportunity to be reporters or reviewers, allowed them to share their thoughts and opinions with other students across the country and also included a student championship. The best articles and the best reviews, chosen by the newspaper's journalists, were published every two weeks on the homepage of the newspaper website.

TOP PRIZE: PRESS FREEDOM - Journal des Enfants

(Mulhouse, France - 45,000 weekly) for Free My Daddy! Special Edition

WHAT THEY DID: Sauvez mon papa! makes the issue of press freedom real to any child who has a parent. For the "Free my daddy" campaign, the newspaper worked with Paris-based Reporters Without Borders, providing the details of seven children of imprisoned journalists around the world who were willing to share their stories. Under the heading "Freedom I write your name," the two-page spread included the children's stories as told by them and their mothers in the simplest and most wrenching words. There is also the story of a female journalist from Rwanda, who, for security reasons, was forced to leave her children and flee to France. A map of press freedom in the world, courtesy of RWB, also showed that these issues still exist in many countries. The project allowed the paper to lead a low-cost, large-scale operation to sensitize children and their parents to the issue of freedom of the press in the world.



BRAND (Jury Commendation) - Göteborg Posten

(Göteborg, Sweden - 243,800 daily) for GP Scen - GP Young Stage

WHAT THEY DID: GP Young Stage is one of the largest rock contests for young people in Göteborg. Hundreds of bands compete and readers vote online. The finals fill a square in the city center. The judges said the project engaged the local community online as well as through the live event while it promoted the local newspaper brand. Participants were able to choose from 200+ songs and an estimated 5000 people attended the final event. The project afforded an opportunity for exclusive brand-extensions (CDs etc.) and PR (like promoting songs to national broadcasters). It also exhibited the potential to grow and extend to a general talent search (in the style of Britain's Got Talent show). This 'talk of the town' project appealed to its market segment with the use of platforms such as MySpace and Facebook and involved followers in the voting process. Reader participation and the clever use of billboards with speakers were also novel ideas in promoting the finals.

BRAND (Jury Commendation) - Torquay Herald Express

(Torquay, UK - 27,500 daily) for Rock Stars

WHAT THEY DID: Rock Stars was a targeted campaign inviting young readers to enter auditions for a brand-new band. Readers voted for each member of the band, which is now playing gigs in the area. The project offered an attractive prize and used a competition format familiar to the audience of 18- to 25-year-olds. The judges praised the idea for its appeal to the target audience, its simplicity to implement and transferability to other newspapers.

BRAND (Jury Commendation) - Torquay Herald Express

(Torquay, UK - 27,500 daily) for Mod My Motor

WHAT THEY DID: Mod My Motor invited young car owners to enter their cars into a competition from which readers voted for their favorite to win a "Pimp my Ride" style makeover worth over £5,000. The project appealed to young drivers, particularly males in the 17 to 25 year-old age range, and reflected the power and efficiency of advertising and marketing working together. The use of paper, online and text entry and voting systems was a great use of different media to gain the target group's interaction. The project capitalized on the interest of the target group and created a positive branding experience.

EDITORIAL STRATEGY (Jury Commendation) - El Tiempo

(Bogota, Colombia - 417,303 daily; 660,688 on Sundays) for The City Never Told

WHAT THEY DID: The project aimed to democratize the newspaper's pages through a social inclusion and citizenry participation exercise that not only gave visibility to the characters and their untold stories, but also helped renew the paper's content, language and aesthetic. The judges said this was a "great idea to tell things rarely told and to give readers an opportunity to speak up." Even though it was not specifically targeted at the young, this demographic was present and the idea could be adapted for a youth-only project in other countries.

EDITORIAL STRATEGY (Jury Commendation) - Ilta-Sanomat

(Helsinki, Finland - 161,615) for Obama Extra For Schools

WHAT THEY DID: The judges very much liked the fun, educational and varied interpretation of an issue that galvanized the world and that was especially dear to young people. This project provided a model and innovative approach for making a historical and current world event fun and educational. A newspaper that is not normally associated with children's education took the U.S. presidential election and made it relevant to students on the other side of the world. The project empowered young readers to think about and reflect on this event. In addition, the layout and design of the pages was a good balance of graphics and information, and questions challenged students to reflect on the information and to form their own opinions.

EDITORIAL STRATEGY (Jury Commendation) - Welt Kompakt

(Berlin, Germany - 270,000) for Young Readers

WHAT THEY DID: Welt Kompakt displayed editorial innovation with its take on the "next new thing". The program provides good use of all technologies to involve participants, including the use of Internet and Twitter, podcasts and YouTube. Organizers revealed that results show an increase of readership of 58 percent among 14- to 29-year-olds.

MAKING THE NEWS (Jury Commendation) - Play Bac Presse

(Paris, France - 65,000/Mon Quotidien; 75,000/Le Petit Quotidien) for Mon Quotidien/Le Petit Quotidien

WHAT THEY DID: This project provides workshops for very young journalists in the newsroom using genuine news dispatches and photos. Play Bac has taken the common newsroom activity and has turned it into a very workable and profitable model and one that has proven to be not only popular but financially viable. The activity appeals to its young audience of 6 to 13 year-olds as it has them in a completely hands-on environment. They also get to walk away at the end of the day with a completed product. The project is a winner in terms of providing young people with a positive newspaper experience as well as an insight into news production that in turn will raise their interest and involvement with newspapers.

NEWSPAPERS IN EDUCATION (Jury Commendation) - Denver News Agency

(Denver, Colorado, USA - 254,000 daily and Sundays) for When History Happens

WHAT THEY DID: For this project, student reporters covered an historical event and organizers conceived, developed and distributed pre-event lesson plans. The concept recognized the significance of seizing the opportunity to capitalize on readers' interest as they watched and read about the U.S. presidential election. The judges said it was an ambitious program but organizers kept their focus on the project's aims such as the endorsement of four reporters and teachers to cover the Democratic Convention. The project was a good example of planning and fostering partnerships and it appealed both to NIE and general readership. In addition, the program encompassed various technologies and did a great job of attracting teachers, students and librarians. Organizers kept "their focus on the projects and made youth a part of this historical election." Also, the essentials of the idea – the coverage of the event and the pre-event lesson plans – can be adapted for use in other countries.

NEWSPAPERS IN EDUCATION (Jury Commendation) - Hamburger Abendblatt

(Hamburg, Germany - 240,000 daily) for Reading Corners and Sponsor-Subscriptions for Schools

WHAT THEY DID: All 240 high schools in Hamburg received free subscriptions to the Hamburger Abendblatt, sponsored by readers. Also schools could apply for reading corners, sponsored by the newspaper. The aim of the reading corners was to create a pleasant reading atmosphere and an area of communication. Over the course of the campaign, the paper opened several reading corners especially in school in disadvantaged areas. Their opening was often a big event with a band playing, pupils singing and the paper's editors on hand to discuss with the students. The judges particularly liked the creative way the paper engaged prominent personalities as sponsors and the innovative twist on the idea of reading corners.

NEWSPAPERS IN EDUCATION (Jury Commendation) - Sun Sentinel

(Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA - 183,000 daily) for Publix's Reading for Touchdowns

WHAT THEY DID: This five-week, football-themed literacy program encouraged students to read at home and school and earn prizes for "reading touchdowns." The judges thought the project offered a good idea for sponsorship in difficult times. Though fairly traditional in its approach, Reading for Touchdowns was a well-run program that elicited participation from home and school. The judges liked how the project linked reading to a popular sports pastime – all too rare in NIE – plus that the project:

  • involved teachers, parents and students
  • attracted solid sponsorship
  • included a component involving creative use of digital editions
  • can be easily adapted for use in other countries, especially to promote print and digital newspaper content.

PUBLIC SERVICE (Jury Commendation) - Express & Echo

(Exeter, UK - 22,000 daily) for Green Team Project

WHAT THEY DID: This project was a continuation of the newspaper's effort to minimize the use of plastic bags in its circulation area. Simple and great, the promotional idea of reader-designed green shopping bags was followed by a campaign to get youngsters more involved, manufacturers and retailers to cut down on wasteful packaging, readers to reduce the amount of food waste they produce and also to buy local to help stop needless food miles. Green Teams devised a cartoon tree with three branches which hold 10 leaves each. Each Green Team decides what environmentally-friendly category each branch represents, e.g. composting, food waste, saving electricty/water. They then have to carry out projects achieving these targets and when they do they are awarded a leaf. Once they have collected 10 leaves they get £50 to spend on green initiatives for their school and once they have completed all three branches they get £150. The project reflected a good example of a program developing from one year to the next and growing in momentum.

PUBLIC SERVICE (Jury Commendation) - Metro

(Warsaw, Poland - 467,683) for Round Table 2009

WHAT THEY DID: To mark the 20th anniversary of the end of communism in Poland, the newspaper devised an exciting and empowering project to get young people interested in a democratic process redesigned for the digital age. The project not only gave youth a voice in what is happening now, it also allowed them to reflect on history and debate the future. This project had energy and passion, and was well planned and executed, according to the judges.


Aralynn McMane's picture

Aralynn McMane


2011-12-23 15:40

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The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) helps newspapers, parents and teachers work together to engage the young to create a literate, civic-minded new generation of readers all over the world. Read more ...