Newspapers and journalism matter
A recent nationwide survey showed that one-fifth of people in Ireland never read a newspaper in a typical week - mostly the young - but that four-fifths do so at least once a week, with almost a third of those turning to a newspaper each day of the week. By that standard, you would think that rumours of the demise of newspapers have been greatly exaggerated, and to a certain extent, you would be right.
Newspapers live. Long live newspapers. But the battle for their continued survival is far more complex than that. In some ways, it is a battle that comes down to 'pounds, shillings and pence', to commerce, or the paid-for advertising that is the lifeblood of all newspapers almost everywhere, now under threat in an era which understands the price of everything but the value of nothing. Without money there would be no journalism.
Without journalism, there would be no truth, or even search for the truth. For some, that is distasteful; for others, not least those of us in the business, it is a simple reality - the central fact in our working lives. But it is more fundamental than even that. At its core, the battle for the long-term survival of newspapers reflects the battle of all of our lives well lived, albeit messily, however imperfectly - and newspapers can be both messy and imperfect - although, at their heart, they still beat with a deep yearning for justice and truth. All of our lives matter and, it follows, of course, that journalism matters too.