Dave Weinberger: News is commoditized

Dave Weinberger writes (at Whose News?):
“I have an overly simple view of the media ecology: News is getting commoditized. The momentum — for better or worse — is on the side of voice, passion, connection and bias. The space between commoditized news (the AP) and the voices expressing that news increasingly belongs to aggregators, not to the news media.”
Susan agrees–for many people, resources like Google News have turned much reporting into a commodity, moving the craft somewhat closer to giving the weather.
At the same time, what’s going on here is a supply-chain issue.
Most newspapers want to have their own reporters at the state capital, in Washington, and wherever else they can afford to post them. (Often, at big papers, the editors yearn for 5,000-word stories set in exotic places that might get them a Pulitzer. And at little papers, they yearn to act like big papers.)
This means that there are more supplies of particular types of stories created than the public actually wants to buy.
And that means that newspapers end up with products they can’t sell, not in the form they are offering them.
And the ad side revenue that subsidized the reporting, and made those great print margins from classifieds dollars, say, is going away.
What’s the right balance? No one wants a scarcity of data–only one story about a motion on the floor of the statehouse for example–but maybe having 8 different reports about that motion is too much. And yet in a free-market economy, how do you legislate supply and demand?
You can’t–and you wouldn’t want to–and yet those 8 stories–and thousands of others like them–are what newspapers can’t afford to produce anymore–because both the demand and the value aren’t there,
Or, to put it another way, if a news entity is an ecosystem, the majority of their stories fall down into the long tall where they cost too much for the value buyers assign to them.