Print publications bring unique elements to news consumption

Rewon Shimray | Cartoonist

With the digital world all around us, it can seem confusing or pointless for print publications to stubbornly persist. With all the information we could possibly need is at our disposal with the tap of a button or the touch of a screen, it’s important to remember that is that there’s plenty more value to print products than simply the information they provide. Newspapers and magazines offer a creative forum for designers and writers to express themselves, as well as for readers to enjoy.

Magazines, for example, are some of the foremost outlets of art available. The skills and manpower that go into making a magazine are practically unparalleled, with page designers, wardrobe and makeup technicians, writers, editors, photographers and advertising salespeople all coming together to create one cohesive product. These professionals have devoted their lives to making beautiful, eye-catching magazines, and their artistry can be appreciated on any newsstand in the country — that’s a rarity in the art world, and something people take for granted all too often. Even if it costs several dollars to buy the magazine, it’s definitely worth it to flip through the pages and appreciate the talent it takes to make something worthwhile.

You can also use magazines to make art of your own, and newspapers too, for that matter. Paper mache, scrapbooking, collaging, homemade wrapping paper and even just painting your home are all creative projects where you can repurpose print products to create your own beautiful art.

All things considered, print media is art at its most intimate, brought right to the hands of admirers. However, that’s not all print media is good for. Print media is also unique in the way that it interacts with readers.

While digital media has plenty of interactive elements to it, as well as a certain level visual attractiveness, print media has a tangible element to it that is incomparable. Flipping pages, running your fingers over the text, even the feel of the paper elicits a distinct feeling and experience, which digital media cannot. We do so much on our phones that when we flip from playing a game on our phone to reading a news article, there’s no difference in the way we interact with the content — we still scroll, zoom and swipe with our thumb or index finger. If you’re looking to invest in a nuanced form of news consumption, visit your local newsstand.

Even content can vary between print and online forms of news. Sometimes tangible magazines and newspapers can include additional supplementary content not compatible with an online platform. For example, the Arts and Life section of the Lariat often includes fun quizzes, Little Lookbooks and more.

When we search for news online, we are presented with endless opportunity to choose what media we want to consume. In contrast, print publications are curated in a way that exposes us to topics and stories we may not immediately be interested in. Instead of cherry-picking our news like when we browse the internet, print products offer a cohesive, curated experience. There’s no clickbait when there’s nothing to click.

The viability of print as a business is undoubtedly up in the air, and can seem like a lost cause to those who prefer the fast-paced news production and easy access of digital media. However, if you look at print less as a news form and more as an art form, it can open your eyes to another side of print media. And for those of you who still love a good newspaper, thank you. You’re the reason print is still alive.