When I was a kid I loved everything about fish and chips. There was something almost decadent about it, the smell of vinegar drifting up the street from the chippy. Unfolding the sheaves of newspaper to get at those hot, tender morsels. Being treated to an extra meal by a conspiratorial uncle – it was all good.
Before the chippies started to fade from our street corners, they started to abandon the newspaper as the standard wrapping for their culinary gifts, perhaps it wasn’t regarded as sufficiently hygienic. We lost something there, but if you told me that one day the newspapers themselves might start to disappear I would have been aghast at the very idea.
There is attrition today in newsrooms around the world. With the rise of digital and the emergence of new sources of news, even the BBC used twitter to inform their coverage of the Mumbai attacks, circulations and revenues are falling. Yesterday all of the news staff at the Glasgow Herald, Evening Times and Sunday Herald were made redundant and invited to reapply for a smaller number of roles.
I predict that in less than two years the rationalisation of our national dailies will begin, with closures and mergers leaving news stands that bit lighter. Don’t get me wrong I like the choices that are laid before us. There are still chippies and there will always be newspapers but we are all adjusting to a new daily diet. We just need to be mindful to preserve the best of what we have; whatever the recipe, whatever the format.