"Journalism is moving through a transition in which business models are crumbling and consumer news habits are changing rapidly," says the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in a discussion paper.
It then recounts how the advertising revenues of American newspapers have fallen 45 per cent in the last decade, and that this threatens the very existence of newspapers since advertising revenues account for as much as 80 per cent of newspapers' total revenue.
Attempts by newspapers to go online have not been of much help, the report says, because online ad revenues usually make up no more than a tenth of print ad revenues.
The party implicated for inflicting this kind of damage on newspapers is, of course, the internet - and, in particular, news aggregators who create no original content but "live off" the good work done by print journalists.
This is unfortunate, says the discussion paper, because news can produce benefits that spread much beyond their readers.
As an example, investigative reporting can result in a staff shake-up in a local hospital and, thus, ensure better health care for patients.
Text: Ajit Balakrishnan, Business Standard
Image: Associated Press