JULY 29, 2011 10:13AM

At what age do we start reading newspapers?

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There is a discussion going on at The Daily Cartoonist because a story was run about a comic strip being dropped from the newspapers because it was aimed at children. The newspaper editors say, "Kids don't buy newspapers."

They don't by Xboxes or Wiis or tv's or computers or ipads either, but they sure are glued to them. That was a dumb comment, but what the editors probably mean is that kids don't read newspapers. But if they don't give them a chance, or gear some items in the newspaper to kids, of course they are not going to read them. It's a self fulfilling prophecy.

I remember reading the comics in the newspapers at a very young age. I don't remember why I started or why I picked up a newspaper, but probably it was there so I picked it up. I remember reading Peanuts and Pogo in Newsday at our kitchen table and even before that, I remember reading the New York Mirror, NY Post and New York Daily News at my grandparents' apartment in Brooklyn. Again, probably because they were there.

I know that whenever I look at old photos from that apartment, I can see the newspapers somewhere in the photo -- on the table, on a cabinet or chair in the background but always there. It was a part of life.

I delivered the Long Island Press for four years when I was a boy and when we moved to Miami I remember our family subscribed to the Miami Herald, The Miami News and the Homestead News Leader and I would read those comics daily and when I could get my hands on them, I would read the comics in the Ft. Lauderdale News, the Sun-Sentinel and the Hollywood Sun-Tattler.

So to say kids don't read the newspapers is not quite true, I mean if you want to really get down to it, newspaper readership is down for everyone -- adults and kids. But to shun the future readers is surely putting an end to newspapers. Young readers should be courted and encouraged, not written off.

Tom Falco is the creator of the Tomversation comic strip, which may be found here daily: http://www.tomversation.com

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