WHAT’S the future of journalism?

That is a question I’ve often been asked in my first five months at The Argus.

I don’t answer as I should: who knows? I have a stab at it. So here goes.

Everyone knows we are in a society of huge transformation. Some of it wondrous, some of it extremely worrying. Communications is the driving force of this change.

Digital technologies are opening up worlds we only dreamed off three years ago.

The pace of change is staggering but so is the general sense of bewilderment about our individual place in all of this.

A few years ago virtual global monopolies like Google and Apple would have been fingered for all that is wrong with rapacious capitalism.

Now left-leaning newspapers like The Guardian give those companies’ latest gadgets acres of editorial space without even asking them to pay for advertising.

In many instances on social media consideration has been replaced with instant mob judgement.

Seven hundred words to explain a story is now down to 140 characters.

Here at The Argus all is changing too. Our website regular attracts one million hits a month.

Amid all the talk of newspaper decline it is the case that our journalism has never been as influential given the wider and more diverse audience we attract.

Whenever a politician tells me we don’t matter like we used to I always challenge them to put it to the test.

Let us take them to task for something on the front of the newspaper or the top of the website and see how quickly the news spreads.

The newspaper, the product in the hand, remains crucial to us as well.

It is the place we try to bring news, headlines and design together to make a compelling product. We have to take a little more time to think it through.

In the end, good journalism has to be paid for somehow. By good journalism I mean as it always was.

At times rumbustious, troublemaking, lifting the rocks to see what dwells beneath, suspecting authority.

At other times joyful, supportive, celebratory.

It will not be enough in the longer run to simply give instant gratification through a digital headline.

Society, as it always does, will correct itself, demand more depth and seek greater understanding.

That remains the past, present and future of journalism.

It will be for society to decide whether they think that is worth investing in.

I told you “who knows?” would have been easier.

The Argus: Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn

Talking of digital advancements, I can’t help thinking the Labour Party has been seduced by the very same.

Why else would the party make it so easy for new members to sign up online for the princely sum of £3.

As the new leadership contest lurches along was it not entirely foreseeable that the process could have been open to abuse?

Where’s the commitment to the party if you can join by a click on a screen?

Back in the day you actually had to go along to meetings in drafty halls to be able to join parties, mingle with social lepers with dandruff. That certainly proved you were with the programme.

A mate of mine joined the Revolutionary Communist Party (yes it did exist) in London back in the 80s.

He had to go to six meetings before they would even tell him the date and venue of the next one more than a week in advance.

Mind you he did later confess he only chose that faction of the fractious, splintered Marxist community that gathered in upstairs rooms in pubs back then because the comrades had the best-looking middle-class girls.

The Argus: The Killing

You know how television takes a winning formula and then squeezes the life out of it?

The same might happen to Nordic noir. You know the Scandi stuff that started in Nesbo books, went to the screen with The Killing, The Bridge and the like?

They’re all set in bleak towns where bodies are found in flat dull atmospheric marshland filmed in virtual monochrome to an ethereal soundtrack.

The crimes are solved by beautiful women cops with slight, and attractively quirky, autism. Unlike Midsomer or Morse they do nothing for the local tourist board.

Now they’ve spread to Normandy with Channel 4’s Witnesses. I have to say I’m hooked by the fantastic filmic quality of it all. As usual it helps disguise the complete preposterousness of the plot.