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Why a print magazine?

Please note – Stew magazine has ceased publication from July 2016. Please do not attempt to subscribe.


We’re often asked why we’ve produced a print magazine when the world is moving online. Are we stuck in a bygone age? Should we have created a digital download instead? Won’t children spurn this old-fashioned relic?

Well, first of all, we’re not opposed to the online world – after all, you’re reading this on our website – and we understand its popularity and importance.

But we don’t believe children have an either/or attitude: they’re happy to sit in front of a screen, but still love to hold a magazine of their own – if given the opportunity.

In fact, we think that as the digital world gets bigger, a yearning for a magazine that is tangible and permanent will grow.

We also believe that a magazine bought on subscription and delivered to a child’s home gives them a unique and personal experience that a digital download can’t match.

Many adults are concerned their children spend too much unsupervised time on a computer, where it is impossible to constantly ensure they have not surfed onto frivolous or inappropriate websites. For parents and carers, Stew is a reassuring alternative to the ephemeral and sometimes harmful online world.

Children and parents can share a printed magazine, looking at it together and discussing its contents in a way that is impossible when a child is sitting in front of a screen, and by doing so adults can help a youngster’s cognitive and reading skills.

Print magazines such as Stew are proven to be vital to a child’s education. The drop in academic ability between children who read in print and on-screen is now so wide, the National Literacy Trust is urging parents and teachers to promote a better balance between using books and technological devices.

“Whilst we welcome the positive impact which technology has on bringing further reading opportunities to young people, it’s crucial that reading in print is not cast aside,” said Jonathan Douglas, director of the NLT.

Reading a publication like this has the following advantages over on-screen reading:

Better reading skills

Research by the NLT shows that children who read print have far higher reading skills than those who read electronically (26 per cent to 15.5 per cent).

Improves literacy

Magazines offer texts of varying length and complexity, which will appeal to children with different reading skills and interests. A website tends not to have that flexibility.

It’s more pleasurable

Children who read on screen are four times less likely to enjoy reading, according to the National Literacy Trust.

“We are concerned by our finding that children who only read on-screen are significantly less likely to enjoy reading and less likely to be good readers,” adds Jonathan Douglas.

Magazines stimulate children

The variety of features in Stew exposes children to a range of subjects.

No online distractions

Children can’t click on a link and surf away from the article.

The decision to launch Stew grew out of these concerns. As parents we were worried our own children were spending too long at a screen. Yet we knew they would pounce on a magazine that was stimulating, fun and informative.

While putting together the pages for Stew, we’ve tested out ideas for features and articles on our children and responded to their comments. They’ve given the magazine the thumbs up, and we think your children will, too. But don’t take our word for it. Subscribe to Stew and find out for yourself.

For just £20 a year for six issues, your children will have hours of happy reading – and you’ll have peace of mind.

So go on, give your child a taste of Stew. Subscribe today.