I don't know whether you've been to see the movie State of Play starring Helen Mirren and Russell Crowe but I just have and I was reminded how important the role of newspapers is.
Its not that its a great film it isn't but it does make the point that newspapers serve an important social function. It deals with the newspaper versus blog debate really well. It illustrates the importance of quality reporting, the significance of evidence gathering and fact checking. And crucially it reminds use of the power of newspapers to break the big and important 'public interest' stories.
Not that we need Hollywood to reiterate the importance of newspapers. The Telegraph's handling of the MP's expenses story has been exemplary. There is just no way that online channels alone could have found the audience and created the impact that the newspaper has. I doubt that any other media channel even TV could have landed the punches, provided the critical detail and held the MPs to account like the newspaper has.
I am not as worried about the life expectancy of newspapers as many other commentators are as I know that newspapers serve a big and important purpose for millions of people every single day and they will adapt and flourish.
Its high time that newspapers found they mojo and came out fighting. This is not the moment to surrender its the time to fight. There is no doubt that the public will continue to pay for quality, evidence based journalism at the news stand and yes online.
As someone really smart said recently the problems facing newspapers aren't the result of a circulation recession they are the result of an advertising recession. The problems are financial and the issue is commercial. The newspaper industry can and will work it out.