Should we just let them die?

Newspapers, that is. Print costs are soaring, ad revenue is plummeting and readers are getting it for free online. The end has oft been heralded but this time it could be for real. In fact, we’ve already seen several go under Stateside and even more are struggling. Even our own Independent is mooting a shift online. Is it a bad thing? Isn’t it simply the natural shift from one medium to another? Obviously the real problem is keeping the generation of quality news content profitable – with a sustainable advertising model. Oh, and making sure there’s still somewhere for me to get my next free CD/DVD! The web moves at such a pace too. Isn’t there something reassuring about the calm, considered and well crafted writing of a broadsheet journalist versus the bang-it-out-quick-alism of a web hack?

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    Actually, David Simon (writer of The Wire) sums it up in an interview in this weekend’s Guardian – ‘…The collapse of the US newspaper industry has left politicians free to pursue their unethical schemes unscrutinised. “The internet does froth and commentary very well, but you don’t meet many internet reporters down at the courthouse… Oh to be a state official in America over the next 10 to 15 years, before somebody figures out the business model. To gambol freely across the wastelands of an American city as a local politician! It’s got to be one of the great dreams in the history of American corruption.”‘