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Last year was widely dubbed the year the newspaper died. In the US, scores of local papers closed, including the famous Rocky Mountain News. In Britain, 53 local and regional papers closed over a 13-month period between 2008 and 2009. These papers met their demise because the holy trinity of local classified advertising for homes, jobs and motors, which had turned newspaper ink into rivers of gold, dried up or shifted online, never to return.

But in June, the OECD contradicted perceived wisdom, saying papers were not unduly threatened worldwide.…

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