Such scholars as Robert McChesney have suggested journalism is in dire shape and must be rescued by public money. The alternative --- the argument goes --- is the erosion of the more public service-minded and investigative nature (in other words, the expensive stuff) of journalism.
Trevor Butterworth, the head of STATS.org in an essay for Forbes, takes on the notion that journalism needs to find public financing to forge its future. He notes that previous technologies have been accommodated, that journalism has morphed into new forms, and that the arrival of digital ought not to be much different.
He argues journalism shouldn't be converted into a public good, besides. Government will help until it hurts, a system of accountability will be necessary, and journalism will not flourish in any event.
Without necessarily identifying the road ahead for media as business models come under stress, Butterworth suggests it's time for those who want government help to simply leave the business.