The Mash is only US program to be honored at prestigious international award ceremony
The Mash, a multi-platform publication for and by Chicago-area teenagers, has received recognition for “enduring excellence” during the annual World Young Reader Newspaper of the Year competition organized by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishing (WAN-IFRA).
The recognition is part of the WAN-IFRA’s annual World Young Reader Prize competition honoring innovative newspapers that have devised the best project or activity to attract young readers.
After three full years in the market, “judges were particularly impressed by The Mash’s dedication to its student editorial staff,” the jury said. “Though professional journalists support the publication, they do not control its content,” they continued. “This has resulted in an encouraging content package that has produced impressive work on serious topics affecting area teenagers.”
The Mash has continued to grow its reach, with 75,000 copies of its print edition delivered free each Thursday to 205 Chicago-area High Schools. Contests and additional youth content on TheMash.com complement the print edition.
“We are honored to receive recognition from the WAN for our work with Chicagoland teenagers,” says The Mash’s Product Manager, Maggie Wartik. “As school journalism programs are slowly disappearing, we aim to give kids a voice and platform to articulate their unique teen perspective, while providing training by first class Chicago Tribune reporters and staff. And for those who don’t work on our student staff, we simply want to get them reading by catering content to their teen interests.”
Funded completely by the Chicago Tribune, The Mash pays student journalists to develop and produce appealing, age-appropriate content, available only on High School campuses. The Mash returns to schools for its fourth year on Thursday, Sept. 8 and plans to broaden its student staff, distribution footprint and program offerings.
“The Mash’s approach, its local reach, and its support from the Chicago Tribune are all models for other newspapers to examine and emulate,” the jury commented.