How will we know when the newspaper industry has finally atomized into long-threatened impotence? When the heads of companies who actually give 21st century consumers what they want (and for the right price) stop apologizing for being successful.
I'm really looking forward to the day when tech CEOs feel comfortable in saying "Damn RIGHT, I helped kill newspapers! I'm running a business here!" Like Johnny Rotten's England, newspapers are just another platform. If they can't figure it out, then someone else will.
I'm as nostalgic as anyone who has ever made a living operating a unisetter (pictured), but after having created, criticized, participated in, and competed against the things I think the whole flatter-them-with-kid-gloves treatment has long since outlived its usefulness. You wanna help newspapers? Steal their lunch, and laugh in their face. Since almost all else has failed, maybe a cold slap can do the trick. And if it doesn't, blame not Google or Craig's List, but the people who managed to convert decades' worth of double-digit profit margins into near death.
Read or re-read Reason's roundtable on "Rethinking the Social Responsibility of Business," featuring Milton Friedman, T.J. Rodgers and John Mackey.