“It’s not newspapers that might become obsolete,” Rupert Murdoch said two or three days ago. “It’s some of the editors, reporters, and proprietors who are forgetting a newspaper’s most precious asset — the bond with its readers.

“Their complacency stems from having enjoyed a monopoly — and now finding they have to compete for an audience they once took for granted. And the condescension that many [editors and proprietors] show their readers is an even bigger problem.

“It takes no special genius to point out that if you are contemptuous of your customers, you are going to have a hard time getting them to buy your product. Newspapers are no exception.

“It used to be that a handful of editors could decide what was news — and what was not. They acted as sort of demigods. If they ran a story, it became news. If they ignored an event, it never happened.

“Today, editors are losing this power. The internet, for example, provides access to thousands of new sources that cover things an editor might ignore. And if you aren’t satisfied with that, you can start up your own blog, and cover and comment on the news yourself. Journalists like to think of themselves as watchdogs, but they haven’t always responded well when the public calls them to account.”