The Scots presenter of BBC Radio 4's Today Programme has affirmed his belief.
James Naughtie told allmediascotland: “It is a very peculiar period of transition but the urge to write good straight copy to tell people the things they don’t know, to describe events they were not at but wish they had been at, will burn in people's imaginations.
“It is a fairly chaotic it time, it is financially uncertain and I think that there are desperate worries about the survival of print which does worry me but the idea that people that people won't want to tell a story – and, just as important, the idea that people will not want to apply critical faculties to it and make judgements about what is good and what is trustworthy and what is not – the idea that those things will go is bonkers.”
Having worked in newspapers for 15 years prior to joining the BBC he continued: “I can not accept the idea that the newspaper is dead, I just can’t and, I am sure I am right. They just have to do their job in a different way.
Naughtie was speaking at the weekend to a sell-out crowd at the Lennoxlove Book Festival, in East Lothian, about six days in May, which saw the major players in what was to become the Coalition Government, troop through the Today programme studio.
He continued: “When people talking about public debate shrinking, the great answer to that argument is the book festival. It gives people a direct contact with ideas.
“The appetite for intelligent conversation and debate is as sharp as it has ever been.”