For me this has been a summer of shocks and this week the biggest shock of all came in the form of our local newspaper The Oldham Evening Chronicle being placed in administration because of dwindling circulation and ever decreasing advertising revenus which made its business position untenable.
The Oldham Evening Chronicle for many of the towns older folks was the first stop to find out what was happening in the town and more importantly it was a place that made our local politicians and council officers accountable for the decisions they make and that is an important function of any media institution.
Now many people will blame the introduction of the internet, free news sites and social media for the decline in readership, but thats not the only reason.
More importantly the readership have less time to spend consuming the stories and articles that newspapers deliver. We have arrived at a population of headline readers. People who are intrigued by a headline then will want a very short paragraph or two outlining the detail of the item and that is not viable when you have to fill column inches in a daily newspaper.
So after 160 years the paper has finally shut its doors and the town will be a lot worse off for it’s passing. I hope that the dedicated staff who lost their jobs soon find a new home for there skills but somehow it wont be the same, we will loose all that local knowledge and expertise which means that something very special has now been lost forever.