(Image: AAP/James Ross)

Today’s News Corp conflagration of the venerable regional mastheads from northern NSW and Queensland marks the tipping point where printed newspapers will now endure as a nostalgic luxury good for those few communities that can afford them.

Among the 100-plus titles slated for shutting are almost half of all Australia’s regional newspapers -- 12 dailies out of its 17, leaving no daily papers along the more than 2000km-long regional strip between Newcastle and Townsville. Only the Gold Coast Bulletin and Courier-Mail in the heavily-populated south-east corner of Queensland will be in between.

Many suburban newspapers suspending print early in the COVID-19 crisis. Now most of them are, unsurprisingly, confirmed as shutting.