Joshua Benton posted this interesting, if not particularly scientific, survey on the Nieman Journalism Lab today. The most interesting part of all came in the comments. One idea the commenters seemed to like was to offer a basic level of news for free, while charging for "premium" information. That's a vague prescription for reform, but it would be significantly better than we have at the moment. Advertising would continue to be the primary revenue vehicle for the "basic" service, and user fees would become the primary revenue source for the premium services.
It's a thought.