I have seen the future of the newspaper...
Picture credit: http://davidszondy.com
I have seen the future of the newspaper, and its name is NowPublic (hat tip: Scobleizer).
Think Wikipedia as applied to the online newspaper business. Anyone can post a news story, picture, audio or video clip. Registered users edit and vote on stories. More votes will translate to increased visibility: major stories move higher on the page ("above the fold") based upon the votes they've received.
Anyone can be a reporter, contributor, editor, or just a reader.
Newspapers of all sizes better get on this concept, lickety-split, if they want to control the future of local news reporting.
Now that I think about, someone could offer a software platform that would enable local entities to embrace this concept. Say, an open-source, PHP-based application that could provide all of the infrastructure necessary to run this type of operation. Wait a minute... wait... just... a minute... I've got a name:
That's gold, Jerry, gold!
In fact, if Rob Curley gets there first, I wouldn't be surprised if LJworld.com implements it and starts offering it as a product.