Page One Turns Into ‘Art’ Project

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By: Joe Strupp

The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky., proved that not only are newspapers not dying, but they are becoming works of art. Well, one is, anyway. The Gannett Co. daily gave up its April 10 front page to Turkish artist Serkan Ozkaya, who essentially drew the stories and photos that appeared that day to turn Page One into a collector’s item. Ozkaya and his assistants recreated the image two hours after the regular layout was finished.

The illustrated front page included the top news of the day; on Page 3, the regular front page was published. A how-they-did-it video was posted online. Editor Bennie Ivory says of reader response, “I think most of it was favorable. There were a few people who didn’t get it.” The standard Page One that ran inside, he adds, “muted any pushback.”

Copies remain for sale on the paper’s Web site at $20 each. On the day it ran, the paper stated the project focused on the role of journalism and the arts in “catalyzing public discussion.” Ivory adds, “It showed how art and newspapers can interact.” He credits Publisher Arnold Garson, who was approached by local arts leaders with the idea.

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