Newspapers were born simply because people are hungry for news. Newspapers will finally transition to the new media... for news is still as Napoleon Bonaparte said:
Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets. The problem is Publishers have been slow to adapt to the new mediums such as net journalism,while journalists decry Google and the advent of bloggers and the "Citizen" Journalist.
If the past is any clue to the future, then the New York newspaper strike of 1962-63 may offer a glimpse of what a nation without daily newspapers would look like. Slate’s Jack Shafer has a wonderful account of what a news-starved city did when the strike crippled all of its newspapers for nearly four months. In short: it improvised. Non-unionized dailies in the boroughs saw circulation explode. The Philadelphia Inquirer imported thousands of daily copies. Radio and TV stations began reporting real news instead of just parroting what the dailies said.
Still,newspapers are hurting more than other media areas. Advertising and marketing are heading where the readers are as more and more people turn to the net for news.
Back in 2006, The Economist reported in depth on the decline of newspapers saying papers such as "The New York Times" and "Wall Street Journal" would survive because of their investigative journalism. With the arrival of new investigative blogs such as "The Right Side News", brings to question if large newspapers can catch-up after having dragged their feet for so long. Many seem to be making a decision to charge subscriptions, but they haven't followed the example of papers such as "The Christian Science Monitor" who long ago saw the future of newspapers and successfully made the transition to the internet. The Monitor was smart;they learned to get money from advertisers, not subscribers.
How does the mighty Kindle fit into all of this? It is a wonderful device if you can afford it,but until competitors come upon the scene,"The New York Times" will only get a minimum amount of subscribers by partnering with Amazon, for users are still able to receive news and blogs from many sources on the net.
As for the blogger and citizen journalist? Think of the videos that revealed police brutality, T.V. repairman asleep on the couch,etc. Newspapers who have a web presence help themselves to blogger material as well the other way around. Bad material? Sometimes, but many bloggers report more detail than local news. Consider the many citizens who attend local town council meetings, they attend because they are genuinely interested in taxes,local ordinances,etc.
Newspapers will be around for a while longer,but the economy is forcing them to finally take serious action. New litigation is being presented to Congress for bail-outs, but that has it's concerns as well if the Government begins to own the once "free press."
The way news will evolve cannot be determined. It is still in the mind of the person who will think creatively and please the reader,while finding the best marketing vehicle.