Dan Conover in Xark:
A client looking to invest in media asked me earlier this month for advice on what might replace failing newspapers. My response? There are plenty of interesting ideas in play, but the first meaningful test won't come until a major American city loses its only metro daily. So wait.
That's because metro newspapers are taking up the market space in which the innovation he's looking for must occur. Newspapers may be failing, but most do a passable job of limiting serious competition in their markets. What succeeds in the shadow of an established metro, therefore, may not be what ultimately winds up contending for the market positions vacated by Old Media giants.
I think that's decent investment advice, but Clay Shirky's March 13th essay on the end of the newspaper era placed some urgency on the question “What Comes Next?” And since I'm a recovering newspaperman who's been studying and writing and speaking about that question off and on for the past four years, I figured now might be a good time to stake out some useful predictions about the future of American journalism to 2020.
More here. [Thanks to Kris Kotarski.]