62% of Americans Do Not Read Newspapers, Magazines, or Journalistic Content to Children

The study also found that 1 in 5 American children only get to listen to their parents or grandparents read to them a couple of times a month or less. 

A recent survey by YouGov for Readly, the all-you-can-read magazine subscription service, has shown that despite all the evidence that reading is essential for children’s development, reading to children is not a priority for many American parents and caregivers. Only 28% of parents or grandparents read to their children daily. Furthermore, 62% do not read or discuss newspapers, magazines, or journalistic content with their children although considered  important.

The study also found that 1 in 5 American children only get to listen to their parents or grandparents read to them a couple of times a month or less. 

The study found that: 

  • Only 28% of parents or grandparents read to their children/ grandchildren daily.
  • 30% of parents/ grandparents read with their children/ grandchildren several times a week.
  • 11% will read with their kids once a week
  • 13% read with their children several times a month
  • 6% read with their kids once a month
  • 11% read to their child less often than once a month

Ranj Begley, Chief Content Officer of Readly says, “Times have been extremely tough, parents and caregivers are doing the best they can. At Readly, we want to make reading fun for kids giving accessibility to a range of content and comics at their fingertips. On the platform, US readers have shown an increased interest in global comic magazines to which readership has grown 43% in the last year. Comics are a great option for children to be inspired and immerse themselves into visual storytelling.”

While reading fiction is often the go-to for parents to read to their kids, it’s also beneficial for children to read newspapers and other journalistic publications, even if it is just a discussion setting. Reading material such as newspapers, magazines, and other journalistic content allows children to be connected to the community, promotes literacy, and encourages conversation and awareness of the world around them. 

However, the majority of respondents within this survey, don’t read journalistic material to their children. Here are the numbers:

  • Despite 42% of Americans believing in the importance of their children reading verified journalism regularly, 62% do not read or discuss newspapers, magazines, or journalistic content with their children
  • 34% read and discuss newspapers, magazines, and other journalistic material with their children, and 18% of those people are doing so daily.
  • 29% of those surveyed say that their children do have access to paid journalism.

Ranj Begley says, “Now more than ever, we should be discussing journalistic content with our children to help them understand the changes in our world. Newspapers and magazines are real-time relevant reading to help shape their thoughts about news and what interests them. Journalistic platforms cover sports, events and incredible imagery too, which are great for children.”

Readly, who currently offers almost 5000 titles on their platform (and plenty of titles for the kids to choose from), offer 5 top tips to encouraging our youngsters to read:

1.       Make reading fun: Reading before going to bed is a classic ritual but for some children, it can be associated with having to stop playing and having fun. Reading time does not have to be just before you go to bed: read under the table or read in a hut outside while eating snacks.

2.       Don’t be afraid to embrace technology to encourage reading. Just because children are turning to devices, doesn’t mean they have to switch off from reading. There is a plethora of easily accessible material on the web which can encourage our children’s literary growth. Apps, like Readly, are a great tool to encourage reading according to their interests. Readly has over 100 childrens and youth titles on the app in 17 different languages. 

3.       Comic books can be a great place to start. With an emphasis on reading being fun, easy and above all, to establish a regular reading habit, access to comic books is a simple tip to help children find reading pleasure. This is also a great way to help children who start to read in a non-native language.

4.       Encourage writing and drawing their own stories: Encourage your child to draw and write their own comic or book allows them to best explore their imagination. There are no restrictions or rules and the child has the opportunity to read out his work to siblings, friends or grandparents.

5.       Lead by example: Children imitate their parents and adults around them. As adults, it is important to set an example so perhaps talk about the latest article, magazine or comic book we read at the dining table.

The survey was conducted by YouGov. A total of 1318  interviews were conducted among Americans over the age of 18 during the period 12-14 March 2021. 

About Readly

Readly is a digital subscription service that lets customers have unlimited access to nearly 5,000 national and international magazine titles – all in one app. Founded by Joel Wikell in Sweden in 2012, Readly is today one of the leading companies in digital magazine subscriptions in Europe with users in 50 markets. In collaboration with around 900 publishers worldwide, Readly is digitizing the magazine industry. Our purpose is to bring the magic of magazines into the future, enabling the discovery and survival of quality content. During 2020 Readly distributed more than 140,000 issues of magazines that have been read 99 million times.

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