In the absence of school, and with parents anxious to keep kids both entertained and informed, children’s publishers in the UK are a rare source of light in a gloomy publishing market.

This is according to a report in the Press Gazette, which finds that both The Week Junior, by Dennis Publishing, and First News have seen circulation increases and stable advertising revenues that go against the bigger, gloomier media story.

For The Week Junior, a spin-off of the condensed news title for older audiences, circulation is up by more than a fifth to reach 85,000 copies a week, per ABC figures. Paid subscriptions are also up more than 10,000.

Meanwhile the school-focussed First News has said order value is up 59% from its 62,000 a week circulation registered last year.

It’s likely that in the absence of school, interest in the Week Junior is spreading thanks to parent-to-parent word of mouth.

Though advertising was rocky at the beginning of the pandemic, and some firms that no longer found themselves viable pulled out, it is normalising for both publications now.

Surprisingly, customers are sticking with The Week Junior even though the publisher had anticipated drop-off after a six-week trial period.

Lockdown measures hit children hard, with school closures. Recent data from the publisher and studio Beano found that during the pandemic, the big worry about children was boredom rather than fear.

What’s more, it also found that in a moment that saw most of our lives migrate to a digital screen, many kids had found a new interest in analogue entertainment, with reading an activity for 52% of the kids surveyed.

For many parents feeling their own screen fatigue and worrying about digital over-exposure, print titles have found a fruitful niche.

Sourced from Press Gazette, WARC