Anyone who has seen a graph of newspaper sales over the past decade knows that it resembles nothing so much as a giant slalom ski course, hurtling the print news industry toward a pain financial crash. Magazines aren't doing much better, many going to online-only editions, or folding entirely.
So where is our news going to come from in this new world? For years, journalists have been asking that very question, without coming to much in the way of useful conclusions. For breaking news, maybe cell phones and citizen journalists are enough, but how about the in-depth analysis and investigative work that puts breaking news in context?
Fortunately, some answers are starting to emerge, although the future is still a very murky place for a reporter or editor. Let's take a look at where the industry is today, what new developments such as the iPad and Kindle might mean, and what this means for public policy and the need for an informed citizenry.