Associated Newspapers chairman Lord Rothermere has said that the internet will "re-energise journalism".
Rothermere was speaking at the annual press ball, held last night at the Natural History Museum in London to raise money for the Journalists' Charity.
He said: "Great journalism is essential to the health of our society and our democracy.
"But you will all probably agree with me when I say that many of those who give their working lives to journalism are often better at telling other people what to do, as they opine on matters of great national importance, than they are at looking after themselves. That is why the role of the Journalists Charity is so very important.
"With the media industry going through a period of rapid change, I believe that role will become even more important. The move last year to change the charity’s name to reflect the fact that its good work extends to all parts of the media was a significant step in this light. The charity is as concerned with those from radio, television, magazines and the internet as with its traditional role in newspapers.
"Everyone in the media industry is busy facing up to the challenges that the internet is throwing at us. I am often asked if the rise of on-line news will diminish the role of journalists and journalism. My answer is a clear no.
"In fact, I believe the internet will re-energise the concept of journalism. Journalists are not defined by the media they operate in – they are defined by their desire to pursue truth.
"They are curious, cynical people determined to go out there, really get to the bottom of complex issues – and then explain them to readers and viewers in a straightforward way. The world of new media is going to empower such people to do even more of that."
Last year's event raised some £52,000 for the charity.