Rupert Murdoch, CEO and chairman of News Corp, labelled the iPad and other ereaders the saviours of the newspaper industry, at the National Press Club in Washington.

It may well be the saving of the newspaper industry, said Murdoch. He pointed to the financial ease of distribution and potential audiences, also saying he expected 8 or 9 competitors to the Apple product over the year.

Theres going to be tens of millions of these things sold all over the world.”

Im old, I like the tactile experience of the newspaper… If you have less newspapers and more of these, thats OK. It doesnt destroy the traditional newspaper, it just comes in a different form.

Murdoch continued, pointing out the savings possible on paper, ink, printing and logistics.

He also took the opportunity to reiterate his plans to erect pay walls around News Ltd’s web properties and called for other publishers to insist Google generate content itself or pay for the privilege of distributing others content.