8 july 2011, end of the world

The day after netanyahu won the election in 1996, a seminal moment in israel's history (and that's how it ended), the (rather leftist establishment) radio played rem's "it's the end of the world as we know it" virtually non-stop. Stop though, abruptly, will another world this week, as, after 168 years, this sunday will see the last edition of the uk's biggest selling newspaper, felled by its utterly immoral behaviour several years ago. The news of the screws, as it was unaffectionately known, was the most populist of papers, both in its stance and visual content, where it was sometimes indistinguishable from the outright pornographic "sport" (a cross between viz and playboy) that incredibly lasted a decade before finally biting the dust a few months ago. The story has had blanket media coverage here, the press, as it sometimes does, binging on itself. Despite its alleged working class basis and immortalisation by the jam amongst others, I won't be sorry to see the back of what I used to buy on long train rides on sundays when I knew I'd get through the observer and need some light relief. Good riddance to bad rubbish. I will though mourn the inevitable passing of newspapers, weaker by the year as the web, ipads and an ever easier ability to create bespoke news channels dooms both the general approach and paper to borrowed time. Amazingly, I don't even read a newspaper every day any more, getting it mostly on-line. My last redoubt is the economist, though I've a steadily growing pile on my bedside cabinet of what once upon a time I'd have finished cover to cover by saturday morning. My paper reading this weekend though is going to be my first foray into the news of the world for many a year.