So the demise of Lloyd’s List — the world’s oldest newspaper, delivering news to the global shipping industry since 1734 — is particularly sad. And to quote British media guru Roy Greenslade, “a landmark moment”. (The editor of the Australian version, Lloyd’s List DCN, told Crikey today the weekly print product would continue — at least for now.)
These are the end days. Fairfax seems intent on hurrying the end of print journalism by pricing itself out of the market — as Crikey revealed yesterday, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald will cost 30 cents more next week, almost double the price (and yet almost half the size) of their News Corporation rivals. The company admits it’s a question of when, not if, it won’t produce newspapers; for News Corp to suggest otherwise is disingenuous.
But we shouldn’t mourn. The first Lloyd’s List was pinned to the wall of a coffee shop in London; now readers access it in the coffee shop via their phones and tablets. The form is irrelevant, only function matters.
It’s the journalism that now has to be preserved, creating sustainable business models in a post-print environment. If only Australia’s newsrooms were as equipped for the transition.