The slow, sad death of the print newspaper – Audio Long Reads

The freelance journalist Tim de Lisle is a lifelong newspaper addict, and still buys two papers a day, three at weekends. In this elegy to their demise, he tracks his own love affair with them, from a schoolboy in search of the football results, to sports reporter, music critic and media studies lecturer. Is the future of news entirely digital, or could some form of print survive – as vinyl and cinema have survived streaming? 

In this rich, personal piece, De Lisle talks to industry-watchers and travels to Scotland to meet two of the UK’s most successful local newspaper editors. With print, one feels “released from the clammy embrace of the algorithm”, he writes. “You get past the cacophony of politics to read about real life, from families to food. It’s better for your mental health, your general knowledge, your membership of the human race.” But can anyone afford to fund it – and is its audience a dying breed? Katy Perry is one of those who hopes so. She recently tweeted: “One of my favorite [sic] sounds ever is the sound of a crisp new newspaper being read over breakfast for an hour or so… The popping out of it, the folding, the scribbling on the crossword… I hope it never goes out of fashion in our digital world. It is too romantic.”

Written by Tim de Lisle and read by Rachel Cunliffe.

This article was originally published on the on 15 April 2023, and in the 21-27 April print edition. You can read the text version here. 

If you enjoyed this episode, you may also enjoy listening to the battle for the soul of English cricket.

Select your email and enter it

Morning Call

The New Statesman’s team of political experts provides a quick and essential guide on domestic and international politics.

World Review

The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday.

The Saturday Read

New Statesman Weekend Guide: The best in writing on politics, ideas, books and culture.

The Crash

Weekly newsletter that helps you put the puzzle pieces together of the global slowdown.

Ideas and Letters

A weekly newsletter that showcases the best of the writing from the Ideas section. Topics include political ideas and philosophy, criticism, intellectual history, and more.

Green Times

The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises – in your inbox every Thursday.

Special Offers and Events

Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business Services
  • Client Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Learning
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facilities / Grounds Maintenance and Management
  • Finance Management
  • Health – Medical Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management: Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers & Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketers
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operation Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design and Publishing Web
  • Projects, programs and advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Manager
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Procurement and Purchasing
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation and Tourism
  • Community / Social Services / Well-being

Subscribers can get an ad free version of the NS Podcast on the New Statesman app

We have partnered with other sites to bring you content

Subscribe to podcasts. New Statesman for just £1 a week for 12 weeks using our special offer. Just visit

How to listen Audio Long Reads

1. In podcast apps

Audio Long Reads is available to listen on all major podcast players, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, YouTube and more. Either click the links above to open in your preferred player, or open the podcast app on your device and search for “Audio Long Reads”. Subscribe to your podcast app or follow it in order to get new episodes as soon they are published.

2. On the New Statesman Website

You can also listen to the podcast right here. New Statesman website. Bookmark, where we will publish new episodes every Saturday morning.

3. Your smart speaker

If you have an Amazon Echo, Google Home or Apple HomePod, ask it to “play the latest episode of Audio Long Reads The cheapest way to buy a car is by using the New Statesman”. This command works on any smart device that has Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri.