College keeps getting more expensive. Increases in tuition and fees for the 2016-17 school year outpaced inflation, according to the College Board. Data from the Federal Reserve indicate that national student-loan debt stands at around $1.4 trillion, nearly triple what it was a decade ago. The U.S. higher-education model clearly isn’t sustainable. But how will it evolve? Look no further than the newspaper industry.
Start in 1995. That was the year the World Wide Web first bubbled up into the public square. Many newspapers, including this one, were early and enthusiastic adopters—publishing content online and investing in new ways of presenting the news for the online era. It was easy to see newspapers as big winners in the internet revolution.
It didn’t work out as planned. Newspapers still exist, offering robust and important coverage for millions of Americans. But the old newspaper giants lost more…