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Newspapers in Education (NIE)
is an international program that promotes and increases our children’s literacy by using the newspaper as a teaching tool. NIE is a unique way for schools, businesses and the local newspaper to work together in a partnership that benefits all of us - now and in the future.

Through the use of daily news, editorial, features and even advertising, students at all grade levels can learn math and cost comparison skills, geography and meteorology, history and current events and how they shape our world, all while improving reading and comprehension. The NIE program helps motivate and teach students with a textbook as fresh as each day’s news.


The History of NIE (Newspapers In Education)

1930’s – 1940’s

  • The New York Times and The Milwaukee Journal  sponsored NIE by delivery papers free of charge to educate classrooms
  • As the New York Times program developed, they concentrated on delivering newspapers to individual college students and public school classrooms
  • The program expanded nationwide and the New York Times started mentoring other newspaper employees on the benefit of the program
  • It was later called “Living Textbook Program” because it described the fresh curriculum material available in the newspaper on a daily basis


  • School use of newspapers became a nationally supported program
  • 30 % to 40% did not read outside the classroom. Those who did read spent only one-third as much time reading as they spent watching television.
  • In 1957 the national “Newspaper in the Classroom” (NIC) program, first sponsored by ICMA and later taken over by the American Newspaper Publishers Association (ANPA), which became the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) in 1992. Up to 100 teachers each year in the classroom used newspapers.


  • The number of newspapers sponsoring NIC programs passed the 100 mark during this decade. Programs encouraged teachers of students ages 9-14 to devote two weeks to the study of the newspaper: what it is, how it is produced and how to read it.
  • Local newspapers began to conduct their own promotional and in-service workshops. Some started graduate-credit college workshops similar to those offered on the national level.
  • Most local programs still gave away newspapers, although some began to charge half-price, especially those serving large metropolitan school districts.
  • In 1965, the ANPA Foundation was established as the tax-exempt, charitable clearinghouse for the Newspaper in the Classroom program.


  • The ANPA Foundation became well known as the major U. S. sponsor of NIC during the 1970s. The Foundation served local educators to help local newspapers serve those educators.
  • By the mid-1970s, more than 350 newspapers sponsored local programs.
  • Canada’s programs became a vital part of the picture. It was the Canadian Daily Newspaper Publishers Association that originated a new title for the program – “Newspaper In Education” – recognizing the expansion of the educational use of newspapers to institutions and organizations beyond the traditional classroom setting. The ANPA Foundation followed suit in 1976 and the “NIE” title stuck.
  • Many newspapers employed educators to promote and administer the program. Because of newsprint costs and the potential for increased circulation counts, almost all programs began to charge half-price for school deliveries. The annual NIE Conference became a “must-attend” event where NIE professionals traded ideas about improving their programs.


  • This was the decade of increased development of partnerships with national education associations. The ANPA Foundation and the International Reading Association joined forces to sponsor NIE Week each March.
  • Newspapers were used in the classroom from kindergarten through college in almost all subjects.
  • Newspapers could also be found outside the classroom for tutoring and adult education, in prisons, mental institutions and nursing homes. Adult literacy became an important component of many programs.
  • Many NIE programs established their own partnerships at the local level – this time with businesses willing to sponsor and pay for the delivery of half-price copies of the newspaper to schools.
  • By 1989, more than 700 NIE programs were in place nationwide, many of them assisted by a growing number of regional and state NIE coalitions.


  • The ANPA Foundation became the NAA Foundation in 1992.
  • In the early years of this decade, educational and marketing approaches of NIE were helping programs grow exponentially. As publishers and editors recognized the need to invest in future readers, the NIE program became more vital to the newspaper.
  • There was a significant increase in youth content during this decade, with both locally created content often written by teens and with commercially available pages and sections.
  • More and more independent businesses saw NIE as a potential market and began producing significant numbers of curricula and in-paper content for newspapers.
  • The number of NIE programs grew consistently with a noticeable shift in their location from the promotions/community services department of newspapers to circulation.
  • The end of the decade saw more than 850 NIE programs active at newspapers across the country.


  • More than 950 NIE programs were delivering newspapers and educational programs to nearly 40 percent of all public school students in the United States.
  • Challenges to the newspaper industry in the wake of the economic downturn in the latter part of the decade have affected some newspapers’ ability to offer NIE. However, many NIE programs are looking ahead to the digital future by making use of electronic editions, downloadable materials, NIE Web sites and other interactive tools.
  • The NAA Foundation is assisting NIE programs with the move to the digital arena by providing a social network through NAA Community for nearly instant interaction and feedback among NIE professionals. The Foundation also continues to develop and disseminate curriculum materials, research studies and other products via the Foundation Web site, and to showcase examples of best practices via webinars and white papers.