'Last chapter' as Nation sets anniversary to stop print

Publisher Nation Multimedia Group has confirmed that it will stop printing daily The Nation newspaper at the end of this month, exactly 48 years after it was first published.

The English-language Thai masthead will continue online. Reports quote chief executive Somchai Meesen that there will be no editorial job losses as a result, with the focus on online services including a new Chinese-language Thai news service later this year. In a TV interview, he said current readers of The Nation were a new generation, more likely to have lived outside Thailand.

On Facebook, business editor Kwanchai Rungfapaisarn wrote of "entering the 'last chapter' of a 48-year era".

While newspapers throughout the world are suffering from reduced advertising and circulation as a result of competition from digital players, English-language titles in Asian markets - including India, where print is still growing - have faced greater problems than those in local languages.

The Nation is one of two major dailies in Thailand - the other is the more conservative Bangkok Post - and Somchai Meesen said the "inexorable move" by readers and advertisers to online media made the closure inevitable, the decline of the print edition having began in earnest as much as ten years ago.

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