Kid-driven community ‘newspapers’

The big city dailies could be a little discouraged. The Club Penguin Times "is more widely read than the New York's Daily News, the Chicago Tribune or the Dallas Morning News. And it's not even 3 years old," the Los Angeles Times (bravely) reports. Assuming all penguins in Disney's kid virtual world read the CP Times, its circulation is 6.7 million. And this is user-generated journalism. The paper "attracts 30,000 daily submissions from children, who pose questions to Dear Abby-inspired 'Aunt Arctic,' compose verse for the poetry corner, tell a joke or review a party or event." Someone should do a comparative study of kid virtual world papers. Possibly a precursor to Club Penguin's paper is the Whyville Times of Whyville.net, which launched way back in 1999. Yasmin B. Kafai, a professor of learning sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, told the L.A. Times that the Whyville Times "provides a mixture of standard newspaper features, such as TV reviews, along with reader-submitted essays. Such digital forums can promote literacy, Kafai said, because they encourage kids to do it on their own, without prodding from teachers or parents."


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