News Ltd chief executive Kim Williams says the future of mainstream journalism in Australia rests in the hands of tech-savvy consumers.
Mr Williams delivered the annual AN Smith lecture in journalism at the University of Melbourne on Saturday night.
He told the audience much had changed in the media landscape since he took the job in November last year, and the future of newspapers hinged on digital subscriptions.
"We have a plan to see circulation stabilise. As to whether it grows at that point is something that is very much up in the lap of the public," he said.
"The public get to anoint the winners in this process."
The ABC reports Mr Williams also used his address to criticise the federal government's stance on media regulation.
He said the best way to preserve journalism in the age of the digital revolution was for government to stop over-regulating and imposing creeping media censorship.
"It's easy to see journalism and business as diametrically opposed cultures," he said.
"It's a mistake critics of media companies like mine often make. But the two cultures must co-exist for journalism to have a future."