Why NOTW will be missed

August 25th, 2011

Once the paroxysm of anger against News Of The World subsides, the tabloid will be sorely missed. Here’s why. In the age of Internet, when there’s ginormous amount of information to be accessed instantly, it’s a foolhardy thing to assume that people will wait for the next day’s paper to know what’s happening at that moment. Unless newspapers reinvent themselves and start doing original reporting, there’s no real reason why a newspaper should exist at all.

NOTW was doing exactly the same thing. It might be using guerrilla journalistic techniques but it’s giving something new to the reader every morning. Rupert Murdoch, owner of NOTW, is probably the last news baron the world will see. His love for newspapers is amazing. He bought Wall Street Journal when it was bleeding money and couldn’t cope with competition from Internet. And this is exactly the reason why the world needs Murdoch now more than anytime else.

Newspapers make sense of the madness. On Internet anything goes as news as long as it’s taken at the earliest. You can pass canards and get away with it but it’s the newspapers that give the reader an accurate sense of the event. So we need more newspapers now more than anytime else. As it is, newspapers across the world are shutting their presses or resorting to ridiculous cost-cutting measures. This is why we should not take point our knives towards Murdoch, yet.

His championing of the newspapers is legendary. He still believes they have a role to play in the way world shapes up. He started a New York Metro section in WSJ as competition for New York Times. He started a book reviews supplement in WSJ when everywhere else the reviewing space is constantly shrinking. This doesn’t mean that Murdoch may sup with the devil (read phone hacking).

But clearly demarcated lines can do a world of difference. I’m sure journalists must be wondering if committing that act of daily journalism is worth it if this is how things are going to pan out. Right now, we should mourn the shutting of NOTW. I have a feeling this might be the beginning of the end of newspapers.

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