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First News claims journalism first with launch of interactive app

By William Turvill

Children’s newspaper First News released a new app which supplements print editions with interactive content on every page.

The app, which works on smartphones and tablet devices, including iPhones and iPads, is claimed by First News to be the first of its kind.

After downloading the free app from iTunes or Google Play, readers can hover their device over pages to get different interactive content.

Because of the way it combines print and online, editor Nicky Cox believes this type of technology could be “the way forward for struggling newspapers”.

“Although other papers and magazines have dabbled with this type of technology, we have fine-tuned it with First News and taken it much further,” Cox told Press Gazette.

First News recorded a year-on-year circulation rise of 18.5 per cent to 62,903 last year and the editor believes this app can help build on that success.

“Rather than only reading what Richard Branson says about the oceans on our front page, they can see him swimming in endangered sharks,” she said.

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“Or they can watch the bush fires in Australia, rather than just reading the words.”

Cox said the app, which can read stories aloud in English, French or Spanish, is also a good option for advertisers, who can make their content “jump off the page” as well.

According to Cox, who launched the title in 2006 with Piers Morgan, Frst News is read by more than 1m people, because it is distributed in schools.

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