The Garlick Press: Should the Epitaph go paperless?

We waste a lot of paper on printed issues that aren’t read

By Kira Garlick

he decay is almost sad at this point
—beautifully colored newspapers turned into giant crusty slabs.

Students leave papers on the stand unread or toss them aside, leaving them weathered from rain and sun.

With the growing age of the internet and online journals, it seems redundant to actually print something. Only so many people have access to the paper in person, when everyone can look something up instantly on the web.

The Epitaph produces generally 2,100 to 2,200 issues of the paper per month, printed by Folger Graphics. The company uses standard newspaper materials, which most likely contain recycled matter and wood pulp.

Countless issues of the Epitaph have been left untouched on the newsstand before. They have been sun damaged, soaked in rain and shredded by students walking all over them.

Papers have been destroyed by the weather or dumped in trash cans.  While the staff has tried to salvage old issues before, it is impossible for us to pick up every issue.

This leaves us with the question — is it even worth printing out the Epitaph anymore?

There are some serious positives to having a printed newspaper. The staff utilizes design to its fullest on paper. Spread wouldn’t be possible without a printed copy. Just the feel of opening and reading a traditional paper is nostalgic, and many people prefer to receive their news that way.

Many students do take issues from their classes and read them the day they are released.

It’s always rewarding for the newspaper staff to see our work being appreciated as such, and it’s nice to see our hard work being manifested into something tangible as well.

Unfortunately after that, so many papers are left in the classrooms long after they are timely. These papers end up in the trash and blue recycling bins.

Yes, the Epitaph class does archive our papers, but truth be told, you only need one copy for safekeeping. Some issues the staff has over 30 papers left untouched, and unused.

The Epitaph may have to rethink how many papers we print each cycle, but our audience still must be reached.

The amount of newspapers printed per cycle can be reduced. We can still print the paper, just in lower capacity and have most of our articles online.

Of course it is up to students and the staff of the newspaper to figure out how many people actually read the printed copies. Take the survey below to help the Epitaph staff come to a more sustainable solution.