Though aimed at showing what the Independent could do to keep afloat, the article contains many valid points about the state of play re national newspapers.
The newspaper industry is a dead industry walking. It is not a twenty-first century business model: slaughter half a forest of trees, pay NUJ rates for news gathering, sub-editing, laying out, employing friend’s children, transferring ink onto aforesaid trees, then pay people to work all night sending the slices of dead trees around the country in the dark on lorries. Finally when you get to the point of collecting some money, split the sales revenue with the people who take the money.
The problem with newspapers, as in the once-a-day snapshot vehicle is they blend news and opinion, they are a heavy pre-filter. Not true intermediary, but masticator and PARTIAL regurgitator.
Reuters, Hansard, Court Circular and various news release aggregators now provide the source material which is available pretty much to anyone with little up-front investment.
Blogs will provide plenty of the masticator-regurgitator-opinion function and tools are out there to collect your own "Opinion" section. You may decide who will be the very short list to offer an Editorial.
What we will see is a re-intermediation of news. The newspapers are ending as the intermediary of choice IMHO. Organisations, parties and others already form their own content aggregation websites to put forward what they see as their take, so even news ".com" sites lose their edge to some extent. I can see a scrap over copyright for a while, but it might just end up that people will begin to value the commentary, pure and simple.
One thing I do like about sites like The Devil's Kitchen and I sometimes try to do here, is the inclusion of the original piece and opinion is then expressed about it. The clear distinction between source and commentary. Newspapers currently do not make it clear where the divide is. I think it would be very nice to see raw briefing content given and an opinion expressed about it. The Web really does allow for that to be done, whereas on newsprint it would get bulky. Transparency is a good thing. Sunlight is nature's disinfectant. The more we see the raw content and the opinion, the more people can value good interpretation and see fisking of the disingenuous spin.
p.s. On a delivery note - once pixel-based e-ink sheets are available, we could well have our own A3 sized "newspapers" to read in a similar way without the small screens and other encumbrances of laptops, Kindles, eBooks etc.