Like it or not, online journalism is increasingly dependent on ads, which have become radically more annoying and distracting. Can high-quality journalism survive without ads, or with ads and a higher level of funding from readers?
The news business has devolved into just another branch of the entertainment business. Many are well aware of this. Few, though, appreciate the degree to which even the elite media -- e.g., The New York Times -- contribute to the phenomenon.
This transformation in the distribution of content is still at a relatively early stage, as the tools for corporations are only now coming into place. But it's obvious this wave will be massive and rapid.
A federal media shield bill is moving to the Senate floor and neither political party is happy. Conservative hawks are calling it another White House distraction from a failed foreign policy. Free speech advocates decry the government licensing of journalists.