One of the greatest US papers is now a shadow of its former self. More and more critics – including internet guru Clay Shirky – think it needs to change tack.

This article titled “Washington Post's sad decline raises tricky questions in US” was written by Peter Preston, for The Observer on Saturday 9th June 2012 23.06 UTC

The Washington Post is, perhaps, the best known newspaper in the world. Take two young reporters, one battling editor – and one president of the United States, toppling into oblivion… Yes, the Post has a resounding, historic name: but, baby, look at it now.

Today's Post has suddenly come to symbolise everything that's contentious about daily journalism's survival in the 21st century, and thus to pose two crucial questions. Is the Wall Street way a viable approach to running a newspaper these days? And how do you cope with the surge to news online: by charging customers, or giving your news away free?

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