Chris Tolles, the CEO of Topix.net, argues there is only one winning strategy for newspaper companies online: Build a community surrounding a particular category, ideally one in which there is no competition.
He is dismissive of recent attempts to aggregate trusted content and monetize it. Newspaper companies are looking in the wrong place for money online. It's not at the top of the food chain.
He asks: "Why is it that all the old newspaper guys think there's some giant pile of money at the top of the trust pyramid? There isn't. All the money is at the bottom. In the muck. In the details. Where Gawker plays. Where Techcrunch plays."
While he applauds efforts to focus on quality, "really, there is no money in building a news aggregator focused on trust. If anything, it can be a start or a loss leader for whatever your real product is. But it is NOT a strategy for direct monetization."