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Experts stress digital media role in child reading

The 16th national reading report of China, released in April, found that 26.2 per cent of young Chinese under 18 listened to audiobooks in 2018, marking a new growth point, Xinhua news agency reported.

Experts stress digital media role in child reading
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Beijing: Experts in China's publication industry have called on the sector to provide more products via new media and new channels to foster good reading habits among children.

The 16th national reading report of China, released in April, found that 26.2 per cent of young Chinese under 18 listened to audiobooks in 2018, marking a new growth point, Xinhua news agency reported.

Authors in the new media era need to carefully think about how to better use the new communication forms and channels to nurture children with good stories they need, said Ge Bing, a well-known Chinese children's literature writer.

Wang Weijun, a researcher of adolescent behaviour with the Central China Normal University, called on the publication industry to adapt to new changes in the internet era and provide more products in various forms, both offline and online, for the country's young people.

The report also found that while more young people tend to read on digital devices or via the internet, fewer read paper books.

About 80.4 per cent of Chinese minors read books last year, 4.4 percentage points lower than in 2017, according to the report.

"Even in a time when digital reading prevails, reading paper books still have an irreplaceable role in cultivating children's good reading habits and concentration capability," said Xu Shengguo, leader of the survey team for the report.

In addition to the use of multimedia means, Wang stressed the importance of proper guidance from parents in shaping child reading habits and behaviour.

According to the report, in about 70 per cent of Chinese families, parents accompany their children in reading.