STOCKHOLM: Sweden's Post och Inrikes Tidningar, claimed to be the world's oldest newspaper, has bowed to the march of time and technology and switched to a digital-only format.

The title, founded in 1645 by Queen Christina, enjoyed a monopoly on news through the late 17th and 18th centuries but market forces took their toll and circulation fell as rivals hit the streets.

Eventually PoIT stopped covering news to focus on announcements by financial, legal and corporate institutions. The final print version, published December 29 had only 1,500 subscribers.

Says the grandly monikered editor-in-chief (but sole employee) Roland Haegglund: "The change in format is of course a major departure, for some possibly a little sad, but it is also a natural step."

On a brighter note, he avers: "It will definitely widen our readership. Now anyone with internet access can read PoIT free of charge."

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff