Whoo-whee, here’s a top-hole analysis of newspapers’ present dilemma. Clay Shirky, astute observer, takes a clear look at the “problem” (a.k.a. the revolution) in this blog post. A text bite:
Round and round this goes, with the people committed to saving newspapers demanding to know “If the old model is broken, what will work in its place?” To which the answer is: Nothing. Nothing will work. There is no general model for newspapers to replace the one the internet just broke.
With the old economics destroyed, organizational forms perfected for industrial production have to be replaced with structures optimized for digital data. It makes increasingly less sense even to talk about a publishing industry, because the core problem publishing solves — the incredible difficulty, complexity, and expense of making something available to the public — has stopped being a problem.
Well worth a read if you’re at all interested in the place of journalism in a healthy (as opposed to what we have now) society.