Federal MPs have expressed concern about the future of Fairfax Media, warning a planned restructure of the company has implications for democracy.
Fairfax announced on Monday that it would cut 1900 jobs, reduce its flagship broadsheet newspapers in size to tabloid, and close its two major printing presses in Sydney and Melbourne in a bid to cut hundreds of millions from its ballooning costs.
Almost one in five jobs across the company will go as Fairfax moves its publications to a digital future.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the diversity of political reporting was the lifeblood of democracy.
"Less journalists covering politics and providing a diversity of opinion is clearly over time an unhealthy thing for democracy," he told ABC Radio on Tuesday.
Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce said journalists kept politicians in check.
"Don't think politicians protect democracy," he told reporters in Canberra.
"It's the transparency of the fourth estate that is the protector of the nation's democracy."
Opposition Senate leader Eric Abetz said there were media outlets other than newspapers that would continue to hold politicians to account.
"While we are willing to front the cameras I am sure there will be plenty of accountability," he said.
"I look forward to ongoing questions, in the future, with or without Fairfax being in a particular format."