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Saturday, February 22, 2014

No more news(papers)?

The Sydney Morning Herald publishes its last broadsheet edition today. As someone who felt that taking advertisements off the front page of The Times was a sufficient shock for one lifetime I don’t really approve of the way all the papers have gone tabloid – somehow it seems to diminish their dependability - though I dare say this is illusion; somehow the Guardian simply being the same shape and size as the Mirror is unsettling. But I guess newspapers are on the way out anyway, or statistic suggest it (a new weekly is nevertheless about to be published in Australia). I take the SMH from Friday to Monday, and find this quite enough reading to do outside ‘normal’ reading pattern – and it’s surprising how many articles I drop after the first two or three paragraphs. A lot of the writing doesn’t, frankly, seem very good – and good news services on TV (here, notably, the BBC World News and the ABC news) seem to fill the bill as far as actual news is concerned, while a good many on-screen commentators are excellent. The only thing one will really miss about newspapers, sadly - being hard-nosed about it - are the commentaries and critics (not nearly enough time given to the arts on TV nets and current affairs programmes).

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