Crinkling News, Australia’s only children’s newspaper, has announced it will no longer be published.
In a joint statement, the founders of the newspaper, Saffron Howden and Remi Bianchi, said: “Two years ago, we left our careers in journalism for grown-ups and put all our personal savings into launching Australia’s only national newspaper for kids.
“We are very sorry to say we cannot keep publishing the newspaper with the resources we have.”
Journalist Howden and designer Bianchi, who pooled their redundancy payouts from Fairfax Media to start the newspaper, said: “We have stretched every cent of our modest personal savings and those donated through a crowdfunding campaign as far as humanly possible. We have rigorously pursued every new opportunity to diversify.
“We do not believe there is anyone who could have achieved more with the funds available or made them stretch any further in this market and environment and maintain the high standards for which Crinkling News is known.”
In May last year an 11th-hour appearance at a Senate select committee into public interest journalism and a whirlwind of publicity helped Crinkling News to stay in print after a fundraising goal of $200,000 was reached after the venture ran out of seed funding.
“To address the creeping influence of fake news, so-called alternative facts, clickbait and the selection by social media platforms of the information to which we are exposed, we need to start educating children at a young age,” Howden told the senators. “In short, we need to develop media literacy in Australia.”
The publishing venture, based in the Blue Mountains, cultivated a growing national subscriber base, a band of adoring young readers, grateful parents and rave reviews from teachers.
Crinkling News said last year’s crowdfunding campaign raised $212,303, of which $19,477 had to be paid to the crowdfunding platform and the payment processing system used.
It said that of the $192,826 remaining, $53,133.15 went to servicing new subscriptions to the newspaper and perks that people claimed as part of their crowdfunding contribution.
It said the remaining $139,692.85 went to producing an additional eight months of quality journalism for children – paying professional journalists, photographers and cartoonists across the nation to produce the newspaper.
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