A FORMER national tabloid journalist has warned that newspapers need to undergo “revolutionary reforms” to survive extinction.
Sunderland-born former News of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck was speaking to the Cambridge Union Society.
He told students that only radical changes could save the tabloid press.
During a talk on press ethics and phone hacking at News International, he added that he hoped the Leveson Inquiry would help to create a tabloid culture more in keeping with changing public expectation.
Mr Thurlbeck said: “We in the print media are at a crossroads and if we choose to carry on the path we have trodden so doggedly and in the same clothes for more than a century, tabloid newspapers will cease to exist in a generation.”
The 50-year-old reporter was arrested in March over allegations relating to Scotland Yard’s phone-hacking inquiry.
However, he was told last month he would not be charged with intimidating a witness or harassment, which related to a blog he posted.
Mr Thurlbeck remains on bail in relation to voicemail interception following an arrest last April.