In a blog post on Twitlonger, the service which allows Twitter users to post messages longer than normally allowed by the social networking site, Paul attacked what he called the a “clueless clique” running the industry.
He added while he had spent eight years in the regional press, he “cannot claim to be sad” at his decision to change careers.
Wrote Paul: “I feel the industry I once loved is teetering on the brink of collapse.
“There will always be news and an appetite for news, but the creaking family-owned firms which monopolise this craft – and it is a craft rather than an academic pursuit – have little or no understanding (or interest), in its future.
“The printing press was invented in around 1450 and there has been print media of one sort or another ever since, some of it even free. But this industry – at a local level at least – is kidding itself if it believes printing newspapers has any kind of a future.”
“It has singularly failed, again especially at a local level, to embrace Kindle/E-Edition/Tablet news ‘papers’ with any real effort, when nationals and bestselling books have done just that.
“Various highly-paid, snake oil peddling, ‘geniuses’ have been drafted in to ‘monetise the web’ and have all fallen flat on their backsides,” he added.
“And the clueless clique at the top of this game scratch their heads as circulation on paid-for weeklies and dailies plummets irreversibly.”
Paul went on to reminisce about the stories he was most proud of during his career, exposing the “powerful and wrongdoers”.
He added: “These are the things I am most proud of and these are the things which increasingly cannot be done in our brave new world.
“The greatest tragedy is that when local journalism goes away, these people will not. And who will you moan to when yobs run amok, or the council ignores you, or your operation is cancelled, or cemeteries or sporting facilities are left to wither and rot, or even to get a bit of publicity for your summer fete or charity trek?
“When I started out, there was still some faint semblance of the glory days, even though Fleet Street was no longer the home of the thirsty newshound. But that flame has, alas, now been firmly and irrevocably extinguished.”
Paul handed in his notice at the Times on Monday 22 June and uploaded the blog post a week later – more than a fortnight before leaving the paper.
He concluded: “I’m optimistic and excited about my own future, what a shame I can’t say the same about a once great institution.”