Seen from a global perspective, the shrinking of Fairfax, Australia's second-biggest newspaper publisher, is hardly a new phenomenon. Similar events happen on an almost daily basis in the United States and Britain.
But it is a shock for the company's staff. For some strange reason, as I discovered when I was last in the country, Australian journalists seemed to be oblivious to the effects of the digital revolution.
They imagined that the flight of advertising to the net and the public's growing online enthusiasm would somehow have a different outcome in Australia.
So this morning's Aussie newspapers treated the loss of 1,900 jobs at Fairfax as if it was astonishing and unprecedented news. It was the splash in the rival-owned The Australian, "Fairfax downsizes its future", and in Fairfax's Melbourne title, The Age, "Fairfax to shrink jobs, newspapers".
It was also front page news in Fairfax's Sydney Morning Herald, which - like The Age - is to go tabloid as part of the restructuring operation.
Meanwhile, Fairfax journalists are also exercised by the intentions of its major shareholder, Gina Rinehart - reputedly the world's richest woman - because she might threaten their editorial independence. She has a 19% stake in the company and there is a belief she may launch a takeover bid.
They have also recently been protesting about the outsourcing/offshoring of production jobs at some community newspapers. Subbing of several Fairfax titles is being switched to New Zealand.
Their main problem remains the one facing the Australian newspaper industry and the world's newspaper industries - the inexorable move from print to screen. Everyone knows it now, but as Andrew Jaspan pointed out, the Australian newspaper owners were too slow to catch on.
As Fairfax's chief executive Greg Hywood said: "Readers' behaviours have changed and will not change back." He should also have added "advertisers" to readers.
Look at the fall in ad revenue in the first half of this year - down 10%. And circulation revenue fell too, down 5%.
The number of print readers has fallen every year since 2006, from close to 3m to under 2m, while the number of digital-only readers surpassed 5m for the first time last year.
Shares in Fairfax have fallen almost 90% over the past five years as the company has struggled to adapt to structural changes.
Nor is Fairfax alone. The shift has also hit News Limited, the Australian division of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, and the biggest publisher in the country's newspaper market. It is planning to cut more than 1,000 jobs.
There are still places where paper sales are defying the downward trend, most notably Japan, and also countries where print is growing because it is something of a novelty, such as India, Russia and China.
Otherwise, in the economically advanced countries where print has been around for, say, a couple of centuries, print is on the way out.
Nothing happens at the same time everywhere, so there are countries where the trend is slower, but there is no defying the march of history, as the journalists in Australia have now discovered.
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