There is no shortage of gloomy predictions about the newspaper industry as it is hit by competition from online news sources and cuts in advertising budgets (e.g. Sly Bailey, the chief executive of Trinity Mirror, talking about closing nine local papers on BBC Radio 4's Media Show this week.

But Ben Bradlee, the distinguished editor of The Washington Post during its Pentagon Papers and Watergate days, remains confident about the future of traditional newspapers.

Bradlee, now 87, still has an office at the Post, and goes to work most days. He spoke to the College of Journalism about his passion for papers and their place at the heart of the political process. His only worry, he admits, is that young people aren't as interested in reading them as he was as a boy.

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