Although print-media outlets have diversified into a variety of branded products in an effort to shore up revenue, the Boston Globe‘s Delia Cabe says that the newspaper business is missing out on one of its greatest assets; newsprint is a crucial element in artistic design, and print giants aren’t doing enough to leverage their product’s potential as a raw building material.
Cabe writes, cheekily:
Artists need newspapers. Plain and simple. I’ve seen the trend. Poke around any gallery, artists’ cooperative or ordinary store, and you will find a cottage industry — in one case, literally — of artists and crafty types who use newspapers in their work. Think of it: You can support artists AND save the newspaper industry in one fell swoop. Take a look at some of these examples of artistic recycling.
Cabe points out the many uses of the broadsheet — as clothing material, a sculpture medium, and architectural building block, among other things.
We’ll do Cabe one better. Newspaper publishers should market their print products’ two main attributes — flammability and malleability. One year-long subscription to The New York Times means never having to shred the bark off logs to get a fire started — in the fireplace or elsewhere. And any week-old Wall Street Journal can be used as raw material for a paper maché birthday pinata! Hang one from the ceiling and watch the younger generation bash all the valuable content out of a legacy institution’s fragile frame. The metaphorical significance will give parents plenty to discuss during the unwrapping of gifts (where, again, newspaper can play a crucial role).
Newspapers, your future is secure, if not entirely dignified.