The traditional advertising supported media model is based on bundling content with advertising, with a large helping of proprietary distribution infrastructure. The entire media value chain is being reconstructed with the “help” of online. Social media are re-defining content. Advertising networks are re-defining revenue generation models. Blogs are redefining the concept of “editorial brand” in media.
The fatal flaw of the online newspapers has been to be newspapers, online. This is obvious to everyone. What is not obvious is what local newspaper companies can do online that is defensible. Online local aggregation is kind of an oxymoron. It can be done more efficiently on a national scale, as Craigslist is proving.
Perhaps Craigslist holds a model for what newspapers become – a series of specific unbundled “newspaper-like” services, but done with community-generated content and executed on a national scale.