Awarded a 2015 World Young Reader Top Prize from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, Press4Kids' super-savvy News-O-Matic app brings the news to young people every weekday with bite-sized, info-packed, interactive stories. Daily editions condense world happenings into five educator- and psychologist-approved stories that authors supplement with video content, quick facts, a photo slideshow, quiz questions, and other features to engage their audience. Readers create a mini profile (first name only!) to illustrate news stories with their own drawings or to submit comments to News-O-Matic editors. Each edition comes with short puzzles based in the news content of the day. The app appears in several versions with content tailored to younger or older individual students, as well as a school version intended for use by a group in the classroom.
The strength of News-O-Matic articles is complemented by the context their authors provide with supplemental material. Readers not only chomp on up-to-the-day world happenings, but they can also read through the historical or geographical context for understanding where these happenings figure into their rapidly growing universe. Its vibrancy and ease of use make News-O-Matic even more enjoyable, and no doubt appealing, to younger crowds. News-O-Matic is also completely ad-free! But, you know what that means...
This iOS-only app will hook you with its ten free editions before throwing up a one-time $19.99 paywall. For five articles per day - despite the glowing content that surrounds them - the price could be unwieldy.
News-O-Matic is loads of fun. It turns kid news à la Weekly Reader into a rounded-out digital experience that readers can watch, hear, own, and enhance with just a little bit of inquisitiveness and creativity. Younger and older users tend to gush over News-O-Matic in public reviews, particularly for how the quality of its lighthearted content seems to encourage kids to read. It's hard to recommend paying twenty bucks for web journalism these days, what with the range and variety of free apps out there, but you might find that News-O-Matic has the right combo of ingredients to suit the tastes of the little news junkies in your life.
Image: via Press4Kids