Like many before me, I left the Daily Record after 18 years to a banging out. Industry tradition goes that a long serving newspaper staffers’ departure is heralded with a cacophony in tribute to their efforts. Pots, trays and ladles are secreted from the canteen to ensure the departing colleague leaves with the thundering best wishes of those left behind.

It’s a curious mix of emotion; the newspaper equivalent of a guard of honour, yet one inescapably tethered to the bitter truth – there are fewer and fewer left behind to make the noise.

The second episode of The Papers took its title from this tradition, and while last week’s episode hinted at it, this week it arrived: the wave of redundancies, rolling back and forth through the newsroom like a controlled science experiment. 

The blank expressions on the faces of the hacks being met with the latest line about cuts, and the pointed last words of those on the way out, said more than any of us could write on a week’s worth of newsprint.

Story-wise, like everything else now, it was heavy on politics, and how two politically dissonant papers in the same newsroom respond to Brexit and Alex Salmond is definitely interesting.

But the historic success of newspapers in Scotland – once the most competitive market in Europe, per capita – is down to the fact that there’s more to papers than parliament.

And while there were flashes of insight into the heady thrill of delivering a big exclusive on the sports desk,  I pined for more of a peek at the features department where magazine writers draw 2,500 words out of a half-hour coffee with someone selling an album or a show. But perhaps that’s because I’ve spent most of my newspaper career with my nose in that particular trough.

The Papers reflected the importance of holding our political leaders to account and the satisfaction derived in doing it – even if it was ripping off the Trainspotting poster in a front-page design classic – was clear.

It’s one of the tragedies of print’s demise that echo chambers controlled by social media algorithms are replacing such diligently curated selections of journalistic craft, gathered, written, photographed, designed, checked, printed and ready for breakfast all for less than the price of the bus fare up the road. 

But here we are. As the editor in chief said last night, if we can’t make that work somehow, we’re all stuffed. And the cost for that goes way beyond the casualties of redundancy.

I enjoyed The Papers, and I still love them. But I hate what’s happening to them, and while this two-parter threw close focus on that, there’s a bigger story to be told about the overall decay of an industry so essential, people won’t realise until it’s too late.

Yet, where there’s ink, there’s hope. Last weekend, I met a man running a tiny specialist magazine stall called Ripe at the Barras market. No more than 25, he despairs to see people walking past his shop staring at screens. He lifted copies of his magazines like they were blown glass, smoothing his hand down the pages of this compendium of words and pictures like a petrolhead caresses the lines of a classic car.

Business is slow, but growing, he said. It can only be a source of hope to us inkies, eking out a living on the treacherous cusp of industrial change, that the generation born with a phone in their hand might yet yearn for something else.