A Harvard professor lectures on how whole industries have found it impossible to reinvent themselves in the face of technological revolution. He tells newspaper groups they will have to change almost everything in order to survive. Along comes his church (yes) and asks him to save their own 160-year-old daily paper. In a few short years, the professor becomes a media industry hero.
There has always been comms. There has always been public affairs. There has always been PR. There has always been spin. Read the bible for heaven's sake. What is new is not spin but the reality of a globalized media age, an information economy, a world where technology is accelerating the pace of change on an exponential basis.
We have a Royal Charter that has been approved by every single party in Parliament. It is backed by the mass of public opinion. And it is based on the recommendations of a year-long, judge-led public inquiry of remarkable thoroughness. And now the people who run some of our big newspaper corporations - an industry condemned by that inquiry for 'wreaking havoc in the lives of innocent people' - say they have made a concession towards it.
The 18th century was a Golden Age for newspapers. The Georgian press delighted in cataloguing the vices of the age, and playwrights, politicians, actors, and courtesans were all afforded celebrity status by magazines and popular prints of the period. The parallels with today's media are startlingly obvious.
This is not a story that can be understood from headlines alone, partly because in Britain the headlines have so often wildly distorted the truth. Despite what you may have read, there is no threat by British politicians to interfere with press freedom. There is, however, a powerful consensus for change.
As a practicing lawyer frequently representing a cross-section of victims ranging from A-listers to politicians, while at the same time also having a significant number of journalists and publishers on my client list, I often have to change hats when arguing for press freedom on the one hand, and striving to protect the basic reputational and other rights of the ordinary man on the street on the other.
Today's rapidly changing pattern of media consumption is a force which editors and publishers are all too aware of. The ability to showcase stories through a vast array of multimedia platforms is now an essential editorial tool which almost every media outlet is taking advantage of to accommodate their readers' expectations.
There has always been a Western fascination with China: its people, its language, its food, its burgeoning economy. But what is really interesting is that even though there is a growing awareness of China's role on the international stage, there is still very little real understanding about China and the Chinese people.
The problem now for Rupert Murdoch, Paul Dacre and the Barclay brothers, who between them control most of the British press, is that the British public have got their number. Most people now know what's been going on and they don't like it. Until recently, Murdoch controlled the government and, disgracefully, sections of the police. At the same time, he and his UK employees repeatedly told us that phone hacking had involved only one rogue reporter. Newscorp, he said, had "zero tolerance" of wrongdoing. We now know that was untrue.
It could hardly be worse. The system of press regulation cobbled together by the Coalition and opposition in the wee small hours on Monday is, to borrow the Leveson jargon, neither voluntary, nor independent, nor self-regulation... to the eternal shame of parliament, we have ended up with a political concoction based on a single judge's recommendations, which may lead to the courts telling editors what to put in their publications. That noise you hear is the applause of dictators around the world.