Amy Gahran points to (and comments on) an essay by news industry consultant Vin Crosbie (Transforming American Newspapers.) that includes some dooms-day predictions:
"More than half of the 1,439 daily newspapers in the U.S. won’t exist in print, e-paper, or Web formats by the end of next decade. They will go out of business. The few national dailies… will have diminished but continuing existences via the Web and e-paper, but not in print. The first dailies to expire will be the regional dailies, which have already begun to implode. Those plus a very many smaller dailies, most of whose circulations are steadily evaporating, will decline to levels at which they will no longer be economically viable to publish daily."
Ms. Gahran sees a somewhat brighter future:
"I think that people who want news will still get it through other means, possibly less directly, probably more collaboratively. It may not look like what journalists think news "should" look like. It may include a strongly automated, algorithmic component layered with human insight. It may look more like bullet points than stories. It’ll probably be strongly focused on mobile and social delivery channels. It may not even call itself journalism. But will it offer people the benefits they currently seek from news orgs? I think it could — maybe even better, in some cases."