16-year-old starts a journal for preppies


The last of those '80s types -- Yuppies, Dinkies, Buppies and so on -- had evaporated like the steam around a junk bond deal.

Enter Jason Liebman.

A picture-perfect model of the Privileged Prepster, from his cheery striped button-down shirt to his subtle, stone-colored pants, this lanky 16-year-old East Sider is editor in chief of the Ivy League Journal, a new paper targeted at New York City's 12- to 18-year-old prep school kids. Put together by a team of 10 teens, with no adult supervision, the ILJ's first issue, which appeared a few weeks ago, was distributed to several dozen schools -- circulation 5,000, the editor reports -- and dealt with prepster topics perhaps not fully addressed by conventional school newspapers. "Sex, the party scene, drugs, alcohol and getting into college," the young Liebman says. "Getting into college is hellish."

"School newspapers are limited in what they're able to write about," says Jason, a doctor's son who attends Riverdale Country School. "This is a forum for students to voice their opinions. . . . It's not just something for my resume."

Not that he's unmindful of his resume. "We're all competing against each other, and you have to make yourself unique," he reflects.

He concedes some may find his newspaper's motto -- "'An Embodiment of Honesty, Integrity and Excellence" -- perhaps a tad too pretentious, even for such unabashedly elitist reading material. "But it's just so . . .Ivy League," he explains.

Anyway, he says, it's true. One of his colleagues is honest. Another has integrity. "And I'm excellent."

The premiere issue -- eight pages dealing with the SAT scandal, freedom of speech, the environment, music, sex and, perhaps somewhat belatedly, David Duke's presidential campaign -- broke even. A second issue is planned for fall, and he expects it to turn a profit. "Advertisers are looking for a high-spending teen-age population, you know."

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