The Chicago Public Schools this week began distributing the first issue of TheMash, a weekly newspaper mostly written by students, but with training and guidance from staffers of the Chicago Tribune. And yes, the Trib has been selling advertising in TheMash.
So, Tribune Company tries to get high schoolers accustomed to the idea of reading a newspaper – and it gets “sponsors” such as Verizon and Nike [see below] to pick up the tab.
"Verizon Wireless is excited to see the Chicago Tribune publish a product that reaches the youth market in Chicago, with the launch of TheMash," said Carol Damit, director / marketing communications for Verizon Wireless. "Currently this demographic can be a challenge to reach through print media," she noted.
TheMash says it will cover a broad range of news and entertainment areas relevant to Chicago teens. Student contributors will be trained and guided by Chicago Tribune professionals, and will be given access to interview public figures and celebrities. Tribune will distribute 100,000 copies of TheMash across all 130 high schools within Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s third largest public school system.
As you might have guessed, Chicago Tribune Media Group is not relying entirely on print for this venture. There’s also a companion website, themash.com. It ill host much of TheMash editorial content and will allow students to post stories and photos and interact with one another between editions.
RBR/TVBR editor’s note: After this article ran, Tribune issued a correction deleting the reference to Nike in its press release.