Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Habit Forming: TweenTribune Caters to the Next Generation of Readers

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Habit Forming: TweenTribune Caters to the Next Generation of Readers

Article excerpt

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TODAY'S TOP STORY: "11-YEAR-Old 'Mayor' Creates Justin Bieber Street."

Perhaps you missed that article amid headlines of economic turmoil or the heated presidential race, but for readers of TweenTribune (TweenTribune.com), the young pop star is a hot topic--as well as animals, cafeteria food, and technology.

Created by Alan Jacobson in 2009, TweenTribune, along with TeenTribune and TT Espanol, is a daily news site updated with relevant and interesting news for middle and high school students. For Jacobson--who has two daughters, ages 13 and 16--developing a daily news-reading habit at an early age is essential for the next generation of readers.

Jacobson has 33 years of experience in the newspaper business and is the president of consulting company Brass Tacks Design. Every day he searches newswires, such as The Associated Press, for stories that will get kids reading--from Lady Gaga taking over Santa's workshop to a new baby giraffe at the Memphis Zoo.

And it's working.

Teachers around the country are using Jacobson's website in their classrooms, generating 5 million page views per month. There are more than 100 posted testimonials from teachers who are thrilled with how engaged their students are with the website.

"I told my students that TweenTribune is like getting up in the morning and reading the newspaper, so they'd be current on what was happening and they get to express their opinion," said Polly Brent, a sixth-grade teacher from Whitney, Texas. …

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