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This study reflects on the policy introduced by the Flemish government to support the newspaper industry with qualitative measures with a view to securing the future readership market. The Flemish government's Media Policy Document explicitly states that it aims to create the context and conditions in which each citizen can fully participate in the information society. The Newspapers in Education (NIE) project was re-introduced in Flemish schools with financial support from the Flemish government in 2004. Research has demonstrated the potential of socialisation initiatives to promote newspaper reading in a school environment. When in 2007 the Flemish government increased its contribution substantially to 1.2 million euros per year, the original target group (pupils aged 16-18) could be expanded considerably to include other age groups and other social groups, such as “groups at risk”. This paper presents a selection of the results of the 2007 quantitative survey, with special attention to the attitudinal changes in different age groups in relation to their accessibility to newspapers. The results indicate a possible cumulative impact of the NIE programme after multiple participation.
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Keywords: media policy; newspapers; newspapers in education; press support; youth readership

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-10-01

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