One question to ask is, do newspapers have an obligation to deliver you the news? Tradition built up over the last couple of centuries tells us that the answer is "yes", and in fact it's mildly shocking to even consider that there might be another answer. And yet some newspapers in India are raising that very question and forcing us to answer it.
What's happened is that the managements now look at their newspapers from an entirely different perspective. They see the paper as a product, one that earns money for its manufacturer like any other product. Being what it is, a newspaper, it will earn money most efficiently when it is best able to deliver an audience to its advertisers. Therefore that delivery itself becomes the raison d'etre of the newspaper.
You consider a newspaper in that stark light, and everything about it starts making sense, or some kind of sense. What goes into the paper is what will draw and keep an audience. Simple. The news? That's incidental, maybe even irrelevant.
This seems to offend some people, but strictly, why? There's no god-given law that says newspapers must supply news. If I decide to print a pamphlet filled entirely with lies, and call it a newspaper, and there are people out there willing to buy it, why should I not do it? And then, what if I comfortably outsell more "respectable" newspapers that focus on news?
Some papers have discovered a formula that makes money by the bucketful. If news is an unimportant variable in that formula, why should their management lose sleep over that? Only because some of us are offended?
You think this is a cynical view of the press? You think the press has a "duty" to the public, a role to play in a vibrant democracy? You think the press is fundamentally about the freedom of expression, the freedom of the press itself?
Well, I think so too. But the success of new formulae forces me to understand that my notion of this role is hardly universally held. The more "natural" idea, in some sense, is that a paper exists, like any other product, to make money.
Not for some apparently noble purpose like giving you the news.