18 Oct 2005

Commitment to young readers extended

Norske Skog is to commit NOK 22.5 million to a further five-year collaboration with the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) on securing new generations of readers for print newspapers.

The Newspapers in Education scheme retains a key place in this project, but work will also be intensified on developing young journalists.
In addition, greater efforts will be made to encourage product development and marketing by newspapers aimed at young readers as a specific category.
The current collaboration agreement with the WAN expires in 2007, but Norske Skog has resolved to extend its involvement from 2008 to 2013.
"We see that purposeful work with young readers is yielding results," says Jan Oksum, president and CEO of the Norwegian-based company.
"This involves a long-term commitment, where results take years rather than days to emerge.
"It's important for us as the world's largest newsprint manufacturer, and for our customers, that new generations improve their reading skills and discover the value of daily newspaper reading."
No other information channel can beat a newspaper for the breadth and depth of the information it conveys, or for its ability to surprise, please and entertain, Mr Oksum notes.
"You need neither broadband nor electricity to read a newspaper. You can enjoy it wherever you are and whenever you want."
Newspapers in Education currently has activities in more than 60 countries, and this figure has risen substantially since Norske Skog's collaboration with the WAN began in 2003.
The aim has been to establish newspapers in the classroom in new democracies where the press has gradually achieved improved working conditions.
Timothy Balding, director general of the WAN, says that the partnership with Norske Skog has put work on young readers into a completely different league.
"We're very pleased that Norske Skog wants to continue this collaboration beyond the agreed period," he notes.
"The work of winning new generations of readers for printed newspapers is the most important - and challenging ­- job facing the industry in coming years.
"Norske Skog's sponsorship differs clearly from other forms of backing. The company has obviously taken the Young Readers programme to its heart. The way it supports us shows that this isn't just business."
Headquartered in Paris, WAN represent more than 18 000 newspaper publishers and industry associations worldwide.
Norske Skog is a world leading supplier of publication paper with mills and sales offices on five continents. The company is based in Norway and is quoted on the Oslo Stock Exchange. 
The Young Reader projects creates readership development activities in several areas affecting the newspaper print medium and supporting electronic information services (SMS, text, internet) including research, resource creation and networking.
Key areas include:
- Newspapers in Education
- Editorial strategies
- Young journalist programmes
- Youth marketing
Newspapers in Education
NIE or Newspaper in Education is the use of the newspaper as an additional "textbook" and an invaluable classroom resource. The newspaper can be used to provide lessons in basic reading, mathematics, politics, science, social studies, geography and critical thinking. NIE can be carried out at all levels of education and the lessons can be designed to tie in with the national school curriculum.
Oxen°en, 18 November 2005
Norske Skog
Corporate Communications