German newspapers are in a dilemma. Inspired by a sense of public duty and democratic sensibilities, they act like public funded media bodies with important journalism and campaigns. But as private businesses, their revenue model can't support their aims any more as the economic and generational shift away from print continues. German media analyst Peter Littger argues it's time they changed their mindset.
Almost exactly 10 years ago, Thomas Steinfeld, today culture editor of the German quality daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung, invited 30 leading journalists to discuss the raison d’etre of quality newspapers. He came up with the conclusion: “The current economic crisis of newspapers is so serious, that there is reason to doubt its survival in the form familiar to us“.