Much wailing and gnashing of teeth surround the future of the newspaper industry. Here, Mediatype Andy Skinner, managing director of Redditch-based consultancy ASAP, says we've seen it all before...
My PA Kirsty doesn't have a chequebook. She's never had one and doesn't want one. She comes from a generation that was born using plastic, or cash if in an absolute emergency.
This only came to light when she joined our firm and I asked to her to write out a company cheque, but I use the story to illustrate how our lives have changed in just a generation.
I accept that change is inevitable. The evidence is all around us but when I heard another prophet of doom prophesying the end of newspapers as we know them, all I could think was "here we go again".
Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger warned an audience in London recently that internet classified advertising guru Craig Newmark has a business model that "threatens to wipe out newspapers around the world".
There is no doubt that this newspaper, as well as all other regional newspapers, has lost revenue to internet sites, but as for the demise of newspaper publishing as we know it, we have been here before.
I wasn't around at the time (honestly!) but all this was predicted before with the onset of first radio, then TV.
Then free newspapers (or "freesheets" as those on the paid for titles insisted they were called) were going to wipe out "proper journalism". Which makes me laugh.
Having edited one called the Redditch Advertiser for many years in my early 20s, and from having one moribund broadsheet the town, which is not the most economically vibrant in the region, has two big free weekly papers going head-to-head for every scrap of revenue.
They also keep each other on their toes journalistically, with both sides insisting the other is "total rubbish".
I suspect that John Edwards, Mike Whitby and others in the political limelight would love it if The Birmingham Post became an internet classified advertising site, but it isn't. Every day, under its current leadership, it is asking probing questions of our leaders and demanding answers.
There are a few websites on the net that discuss the affairs of state in our region but none with the gravitas of our regional flagship newspaper, and some that could make lots of money for libel lawyers, I suspect. And as for whether the Post should be taking such a proactive stance, when still an editor I recall being called into the office of my managing director who had been to various pre-Christmas political drinks parties in the previous week.
"The Tories think you are a red under the bed, a real pinko," he said, and before my mouth could open to protest, he went on, "and the Labour lot think you are a closet fascist, a typical ex-public schoolboy with all that implies."
As I stood there scratching my head wondering how to react, he said: "Which suggests to me that you are doing something right Skin-bags, so get out of my office and get on with it."
At some point soon a cloud of white smoke will rise over Weaman Street as the name of the newly-anointed editor of The Birmingham Post is announced.
It won't be the obvious choice, as I didn't even get the courtesy of an interview.
But nevertheless I wish the winner well and trust that he or she will continue with a proactive news agenda that has the good of the West Midlands at its heart.
And no classified advertising website will ever be able to replace that. ..SUPL: