Roger Parry: Papers must evolve or become extinct

Roger Parry, the current chairman of Johnston Press, has said journalists are often busy doing things the audience no longer want.

In a comment piece for the Financial Times, he said: “Local newspapers are nearing the end of their Cretaceous era. The asteroids – recession and the internet- have landed and the K-T extinction horizon is imminent.”

He argues that journalists are often carrying out work that could be done by the public, who could write about issues and events they are truly concerned about.

He says there will always be a need for trained journalists, but that we will need fewer of them, and they will need new skills in managing user generated content.

Parry, who will step down as chairman in April, says only visionary modernisers will prosper during the radical changes ahead, and said:

“Evolution or extinction is the stark choice ahead for the industry.”

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