They are calling for a form of public subsidy --- not state-run media, but a system of assistance for digital journalistic growth, conversion of ailing companies into lower-profit sustainable ones, and broader financing of public and community media. Their idea isn't to save newspapers, per se, but to save journalism.
"For the first time in American history, we are nearing a point where we will no longer have more than minimal resources (relative to the nation's size) dedicated to reporting the news. The prospect that this 'information age' could be characterized by unchecked spin and propaganda, where the best-financed voice almost always wins, and cynicism, ignorance and demoralization reach pandemic levels, is real. So, too, is the threat to the American experiment."