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Jeruba's avatar

Newspapers: what will we do without them?

Asked by Jeruba (48719points) June 2nd, 2009

We take them for granted. But they are disappearing cataclysmically, just like Stegosaurus and T. Rex, to our great loss. (And I think we are going to be really, really, really sorry one day before too long.)

Aside from all the ways that we value newspapers for their own sake, how about all the other things we use newspaper for? What will we use in its place when the presses stop? Will we buy sheets of plain newsprint for household purposes? Will we pay someone to deliver blank rolls of paper to our homes every morning? Will the little old ladies with houses full of old newspapers suddenly have a corner on the market?

What are all the things you use newspapers for besides reading their content, and what will take their place?

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22 Answers

eponymoushipster's avatar

Well, bird are just going to have to start pooping on different kinds of paper. undoubtedly, someone will invent Birdy TP.

and we’ll have to wrap fish n chips in something else that absorbs grease – uhm, may i suggest a delicious pizza?

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

We’d read the news online like 21st century people do.

The use of newspaper for “other” projects will likely be replaced by another paper source which we have in abundance. That’s right… junk mail.

gailcalled's avatar

Igniting kindling for a fire in wood-burning stove, lining Milo’s carrying case, lining the back seat of car where the carrying case sits, mulching around plants for weed-destruction, for starters.

applesaucemanny's avatar

I like to read the newspaper first then I look at the horoscopes, funnies, etc. then when I am done I make a paper hat out of it, and sometimes a giant crane!!!!

Girl_Powered's avatar

Well, plastic shopping bags are being banned, so paper bags might become far more common. They could assume the role of a used newspaper.

WhatThaF's avatar

last time I used newspapers was when it rained last month.

my family used to get the paper at the door every weekend.. but it kinda jus died many years ago. I used to read the comic section. magazines, Internet, tv, and word of mouth are now usually my source for news.

DarkScribe's avatar

I don’t read newspapers other than online – I work for one, but I agree, I use them for an enormous number of other things. Mostly wrapping rubbish, kitchen scraps, protection against spills, shredded in mulch etc. I don’t read them, but I still use several per week. At the moment, here (Australia) it will be some time before we risk losing all print media – the free papers won’t disappear too soon. They are the primary area of advertising for local business, car sales, real estate etc., and as such will probably continue for many years. As for the rest, they are already losing circulation and advertising revenue. It is only a matter of time.

cyn's avatar

Dogs will be biting everyone! lol4rl get it? We would be living in heaven!

StellarAirman's avatar

I don’t use newspapers for anything now, including reading, so I won’t be changing anything at all.

robbrown's avatar

I don’t think that newspapers will ever be “extinct” to the point where we won’t be able to find them.

The newsprint industry is founded on distribution. While it’s almost trendy not to read a newspaper right now, they hold a particularly important value to many people. Some examples include the contrast ratio of text, the feel of the paper, and the tradition embedded in many “Sunday morning paper” rituals that still exist.

The advantage to receiving your news online is that it is immediate and to the point.

However, online journalists are the first to point out that their articles are positioned well for “bites” of information rather then traditional, long journalism.

I wouldn’t be too nervous about having to find additional sources of kindling, Christmas decoration liner, etc. Newspapers will be around for a time to come!

qualitycontrol's avatar

what is a news paper?

Dorkgirl's avatar

There was a big thing in the Oregonian a few days ago about the status of newspapers not being as dire as has been reported in other media. I hope they don’t go away! I love my daily paper!!

Blondesjon's avatar

Relax. I’m sure there was an uproar when we made the switch from clay tablets.

i have enough old newspaper to kindle fires and catch shit for the next one hundred years.

Jeruba's avatar

Some of our uses:
Putting under the kitty litter box
Spreading out on the floor when painting, carving pumpkins, squeezing lemons, grinding potatoes for latkes
Wrapping around china and other delicate objects when packing
Stuffing in parcels for filler and protection
Creating homemade patterns
Making papier-mâché

Substitutes:
I have no idea.

dynamicduo's avatar

Rejoice. I have no need for them at all.

Blondesjon's avatar

Has anyone considered what this is going to do to the Silly Putty market?

Jeruba's avatar

You can still use comic books for your Silly Putty. But they don’t go for 10 cents each any more, or they might do as a newspaper alternative for some purposes, especially those requiring absorbency (for which catalogs are useless).

Blondesjon's avatar

My dear Jeruba, you don’t even remove your comic books from their protective, plastic sheath to read them let alone press a piece of putty onto their mint condition pages.

chyna's avatar

My mornings will suck without my morning newspaper, my diet pepsi and pnut butter toast. It just won’t be the same reading it on a computer.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I haven’t bought a newspaper in years and don’t use the paper for anything around the house so I wouldn’t miss that. As far as news goes, as many businesses you walk into that have a flat screen displayed for the public, it’s not much of a concern. Computers at home and at work as well as TV’s at work will fill for those without pda’s, phones and kindle type devices

@eponymoushipster: we used a shredded cage liner sold in pet stores for our bird instead of newspaper, it stunk less when the urine or spilled water got on it.

Jeruba's avatar

@Blondesjon, how do you even know there’s a story inside? What a waste of a comic book, if I may say so.

dannyc's avatar

I use them to clean the windows of my house and car after tossing a vinegar and water solution on them. It works amazing. I guess I will have to actually get some sort of lame gimmicky gizmo from Walmart or from one of those infomercial guys. Not to mention using my newspaper to hit unwanted flies buzzing about my stove. Or to whack my head once in a while when I doze off listening to my neighbor drone on and on from behind the fence. As far as newspapers not existing soon, it will still be a while. But there is 1 inescapable trend : I have rarely, if ever seen a person under 25 ever open a paper, including the free ones, they prefer, of course their little handheld devices. I believe that will be the future of distributed advertising.

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