People are losing their jobs elsewhere, even in the heart of the chattering classes. Yes, my favourite newspaper is shedding people and sections. Hopefully they'll be treated well, though Fleet Street has a saying about liberal papers treating their staff worse than reactionary ones.
The Guardian has declines recently - the supplements, such as Environment, have been reduced to allow more journalists to spend time on important stories about Amy Winehouse, The Wire, celebrity sport columns and whatever Tanya Gold thinks we should know about her on any particular day. Now they're ceasing to publish the Technology supplement - an innovative and (you'd think) essential part of a forward-looking newspaper. I'd drop the TV listings personally and cut the 'essential clothes under £3000' dross.
Over at the Observer, the decent magazines are going: Sport Monthly, Woman and Music. All that will be left is the Department for Supporting Illegal Wars Based on Falsified Evidence and (hopefully), Rawnsley and Mitchell who, let's face it, needs the work. I certainly won't miss Escape (the travel section), lacking a cat in need of litter material.
Does it matter? Newspapers are migrating to the web - and losing millions of pounds in doing so. Murdoch plans to put his papers' sites behind a pay wall, while others, like the Guardian rely on advertising (which is why they're going bust). I love the accessibility of the web versions - but I also love the flow, convenience and portability of the newspaper, the ability to tear bits out, write on them, pass them over to your friends, fashion them into sunhats…
Witticisms aside though, it is a bit worrying - loads of US newspapers have closed, and UK ones are struggling, despite having a much better readership. We need spiky, independent journalism. Can't we ban the Daily Mail instead, and forcibly transfer their readers? It would be like being sent on an involuntary and unpleasant foreign exchange holiday. They don't like our clothes (sandals), our food (muesli), our relaxed attitudes to sex, drugs and politics… but they'd be transformed after a few months - into nice people.
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