For two excellent discussions on the future of news, check out the following at American Journalism Review:
Paul Farhi’s article on thoughts that would take newspapers back to the future by forcing online viewers to pay (alot) for content, and concentrating on the print side.
Ronald Yaros’ piece on the ongoing debate over how to best use multimedia. (Simply putting up videos, sound and bunches of pictures is not worth the effort unless they are placed appropriately).
What’s it all mean? I would suggest two things: 1) Pay walls will not work. When newspapers turned themselves into a mass medium, they rejected circulation as a revenue model. Readers simply will not pay enough to keep enough reporters on the street. 2) Multimedia for the sake of multimedia also will not work (just as quotes for the sake of quotes in a news story do not work). Multimedia must add and enhance concrete details that enlighten and entertain.