Newspaper Nine Queensland
(Image: Unsplash/Bank Phrom)

There’s a hard rule in newspapers: no ads, no paper. With yesterday’s announced closure of the independently-owned Sunraysia Daily we can see what this means amid the spread of COVID-19 -- the end of print.

The Mildura paper is the first daily paper to close in 30 years. It won’t be the last. It’s all but impossible to see many of Australia’s print newspapers surviving the great disruption being wrought by the coronavirus pandemic and by the concurrent jackpot of advertising collapse, social closing, restrictions on travel and government vandalising of public broadcasting that threatens the infrastructure of Australia’s media.

If papers aren’t closed outright, expect both of the media duopolies to follow Sunraysia and “suspend” some or all of their print operations, sooner rather than later -- perhaps starting with a pause on the announced plans for internal news services to replace AAP.