I don’t know that they are the future - but I know what isn’t - crafting headlines and stories to generate a click for the entire purpose of getting ad revenue.
The ads that generate the income were always there - and there was always a unease between the content room and the ad room over who ran the paper - but the inmates control the ship lately because they lost the understanding of how to keep the money flowing - and in the panic they took over.
Well that kept things afloat for a bit - but it’s a downward spiral. The truth is there is no reason for some of these places to be so bloated. Honestly there is no reason for a new media company to be based in any large city (like New York or London) when they can setup shop in Elmwood, IL (population est. 2,570 - cost of doing business 1/10000th of New York city) and do the same job on the ‘internet’ - this thing where physical locality doesn’t matter a hill of beans.
We may even see businesses do this too - someday - when they realize they can setup in some podunk down for a fraction of the cost - get cherry access to all the best tax breaks for doing so - move all their people and it would still save money - because a digital product doesn’t need to be made in San Fransisco - and thus can reap the benefits of cheap housing and infrastructure.
When this happens (I really believe it will at some point) - ‘rural’ America will have it’s rebirth, and the deeply blue demographic of the cities will disperse outward - turning the country mostly blue - and moving those 3 million votes to the places they would be 1000% more powerful (like south dakota perhaps).
The wake up call that digital means anywhere needs to happen.