India's national daily reaches out to students across nine cities through its school edition

Starting Monday, an all-new edition that appeals to young readers will be distributed through schools as part of The Hindu's Newspaper in Education programme. The first edition of The Hindu in School was launched in style here on Sunday.

The eight-page broadsheet will have a good mix of the day's important news developments, features, sports, and regional news, in a language, style and design that students can instantly relate to. Those who like solving puzzles and love comic strips have a lot to look forward to.

Getting nostalgic while launching the edition, T.N. Venkatesh, Joint Commissioner (Education), Chennai Corporation, spoke on the role that newspapers, in particular The Hindu group of publications, played in his success in the civil service examination.

The Hindu's school edition will strengthen the resolve among students to improve their knowledge in various fields, including sports and world affairs, he said. Observing that it was becoming increasingly difficult for teachers to get the attention of students in the classroom, Mr. Venkatesh said The Hindu's student edition seemed like the right answer.

“This edition should bring back the reading habit among students,” he said.

Siddharth Varadarajan, Editor, The Hindu, said there was a need to tailor-make the newspaper as a pedagogical tool. Referring to the target audience as students at the cusp of adulthood, he said: “Before the pressure of board exams bogs them down, we thought children from class VII upward needed a paper that appeals to them.” The paper would have the same standards and reliability that The Hindu is known for, he added.

Speaking on the competition that newspapers face from other sources of information, Mr. Varadarajan said the challenge here was to cater to the tastes of young readers. “The student edition will set a new benchmark for the newspaper reading habit in the country,” he added.

A volley of questions from the audience, mainly school students, on what they sought from the student edition showed they had high expectations.

Clarifying that the student edition is not a substitute for the main paper, Mr. Varadarajan said it will be available only in schools from Monday to Saturday. “But, the content will be very different. I bet your parents will be happy to see stuff they haven't read,” he said.

Mr. Varadarajan said the paper would be made a lot more interactive in the weeks to come with the introduction of contests, quizzes and other events. Students could also contribute to the paper.

S. Shivakumar, editor of The Hindu in School, said the content was finalised based on feedback collected from schools.

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