HP backs News Corp's national news site for kids

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 5 March 2018

Computer giant Hewlett Packard (HP) is the major brand backing News Corp Australia's new national news website aimed at children.

Kids News aims to reinforce News Corp's commitment to educating the next generation, improving children’s literacy, and investing in “readers of the future”, through its News in the Community program.

The publisher describes the site as “isolated” so does not link to outside news sources, meaning students can use it safely in a supervised or unsupervised environment or for independent learning.

Clicking an advert takes users off site to HP's 'The Hub', featuring education-themed content.

The brand tie-up sees HP feature in web page takeovers, fill banner ad spots and integrated branded content. Clicking the 'Special Feature' tab (example below) several technology-related stories appear, including two which begin with 'HP technology' and 'HP grants'.

Former Herald Sun associate editor of Lifestyle, Toni Hetherington, championed the initiative and oversaw the successful pilot. She has now been appointed to the newly created role of national education publisher and will assume responsibility for the new, national kidsnews.com.au site.

“Kids News offers both national and local advertisers access to a niche and engaged audience including students, teachers and parents. And the fact the site encourages learning is very attractive to advertisers,” Hetherington says.

Speaking to AdNews, Hetherington says other brands can be integrated with content on the site.

“However, we are looking for brands that are primarily a good fit with education, literacy or advancement of children's overall knowledge and well-being,” she says

“We already include special features content for sponsors with stories that are of interest to and educational for students.”

Hetherington says HP is dedicated to the education of children and helping create jobs of the future for them which is why it is an ideal fit with the Kids News brand. 

 “News is prepared to work with multiple brands on the Kids News site that align with the core purpose of the site, which is to provide daily news stories for students in the classroom and encourage them to read,” Hetherington says.

“While the site has huge potential to expand in coming years, we will be mindful that new sections and content will always have an educational focus or be designed to further engage school children with the site.”

Other current story examples include a news item on climate change impacting penguins, a story on Donald Trump meeting Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and how an Aussie climber became the youngest person to complete the Seven Summits.

Melbourne Cricket Club is also an advertiser on the site.

Special Feature:

News Corp Australia chief operating officer of publishing, Damian Eales, says the business has been overwhelmed by the popularity and success of Kids News since rolling it out as a pilot program in 2017 to Victorian schools and it has already attracted a readership of more than 110,000 teachers and students.

“We expect this to significantly increase as we take it national,” Eales says

“Our newspapers have a long and proud history of working on behalf of communities around the country. Kids News is an extension of this commitment, aimed at educating, inspiring, and encouraging curiosity in our youth.”

Kids News was developed by News Corp with the assistance of teachers to help fill a gap in their access to news as a learning tool.

HP supports new News Corp venture with ads and content

The standalone site rolls out two daily news stories specifically written in child-appropriate language, with content sourced from News Corp’s key newspapers and websites including the Herald Sun, The Daily Telegraph, The Courier-Mail, The Advertiser, The Mercury and NT News, as well as from its regional papers and community titles.

While the site, which averages almost three million page views a year, and an average time on site of almost five minutes, is aimed at students from years three to six, the Victorian trial has proven that students from prep and up to year nine have also benefited from the content.

All content is linked to the national curriculum with learning activities provided on every news story. These activities are written by current, qualified teachers for teachers.

Each story contains text, multiple images, video where available, audio of the story and a glossary of terms to improve the students’ vocabulary. There is also an archive of content.

The stories are also colour coded to indicate the level of comprehension needed by students to read it.

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