If newspapers die, will we lose anything?by Andrew Marr / February 20, 2014 / Leave a comment
Published in February 2014 issue of Prospect Magazine
“Newspapers are dying out, slowly. Many of them have lost their inner spirit… But whatever happens to the delivery system, the news goes on”
Each morning, I do something which my grandchildren (if I get them) will regard as quaint and mildly absurd. I pick up from the doorstep three bundles of woodpulp-paper imprinted in coloured ink, I pour myself a coffee and I spend an intense half-hour reading. My long-suffering family know how difficult it is to interrupt this archaic, nostalgic ritual. Later, I will check out most of the other newspapers online or in a local café. Radio Four’s Today programme may be burbling quietly in the background.
Soon enough, all this will be as one with stropping the cutthroat razor before the morning shave, or listening to the clipclop of horses as the morning milk is delivered. For most, and for almost all younger people, the news now comes hotter, stronger, and above all faster, in a multicoloured digital stream. And yet it’s still the same “stuff,” isn’t it? The news is the news is the news. It’s an addiction. Drink it, smoke it, or inject it, it’s the essential intellectual opium of the modern world.