"Newspapers are making progress with the internet, but most are still too timid, defensive or high-minded."
The Economist nails some of the problems and trends for newspapers.
But despite this succinctly presented special report the issues run deeper.
And the answers will be many.
For a different perspective on the "quality will win" view here's Michael Wolff's Vanity Fair piece on the New York Times. An internet fan he ain't:
"The premise is that, via the Internet, the Times can more easily deliver the Times. And, indeed, it's created the richest site of any newspaper in the world, a site whose depth and efficiency inevitably undermine the paper itself. At a conference earlier this year, hosted by Google, Arthur gave a talk about "real journalism," saying that the Times would succeed online because its brand had a proven record of probity—that people would always want the real thing. (His talk was accompanied by video clips of lots of older, exhausted-looking white men working in the newsroom.)
"But more and more there is the sinking sensation at the Times that the Internet isn't Kansas. It's not just the relentless reductiveness of the new medium—the Times's long version becomes fodder for everybody else's short version. Or that the Internet requires, according to one hollow-eyed reporter, "everyone to do more and more for no more money." Much more unsettling than that: the Internet, once thought of as the ideal vehicle for reaching a targeted audience, is turning into a high-volume business, super-mass-media, dependent on cheap advertising. Success demands vast numbers: tens of millions or hundreds of millions of habituated users."
I'd hazard the view that the Times' problem isn't the internet, it's the culture of the Times itself.
Update: The Oz takes umbrance with the Economist's view.