‘The newspaper industry has gone from the Flintstones to the Jetsons in the space of a decade.’

Two of Australia’s quality dailies, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne Age, went tabloid this morning (Monday) and it was just the peg the Australian media needed to talk about the threat to print from digital. And the slippery slope down market.

It’s worth watching this report from ABC to get a sense of some of the contrasting views on the move over there, which mirror the conversations over here.

Personally I was particularly struck by this from Garry Linnell, editorial director of Fairfax, the publisher of both papers. Here, for once, was a senior executive not pretending to have it all mapped out.

What’s the future for newspapers? I don’t know. I mean I didn’t know five years ago that we would be publishing on a tablet. In five years time we will be broadcasting of a hologram of a paper boy into your living room screaming out that morning’s headlines? I don’t know. I can’t predict it.

All I know is that this industry has actually gone from the Flintstones to the Jetsons in the space of a decade.

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