There are too many issues floating around in the same pot. For instance, I think Local news has enormous growth potential. My little suburban paper has a few stories a day. I know that way more is going on. I would like to see a site that had lots of moderated reader submitted stories, pictures of new babies, remembrances of those who have died, pictures of what the town used to look like, police logs, even more local advertizing which very few tradesfolk ever do around here anyway. I think ther is room for volunteer reporters, stringers at least and that this could evolve, WOULD evolve, into meatier stories down the line covering government and zoning and such.
The other sub issue is how much the payment would be. Old Media is still thinking about Old Pricing, pricing based on physical products and local consumption. But now there is no physical product and the audience is the world. I would pay the New York Times or the WaPo $5 a year. They might scoff at such a sum now but then now they are thinking about circulations primarily in their cities, not circulations worldwide which is what they could be. But there will be no worldwide if the subscription is $100 a year.
Anyway, as usual, a very interesting discussion.