I hope you’re right, since any kind of paid journalism is likely to become economically unviable unless we move from ads to subscriptions or micropayments.
But at the same time (and this is from someone who’s original plan was to start a news site selling paid articles in the gaming market), I sadly suspect that this idea of ‘paying for articles’ just might not work out.
Oh sure, you might get promises of great journalism and interesting stories and stuff if you pay for them, but the competition from free sites is just massive, and in a lot of markets, I suspect people simply aren’t going to want to pay anything. Why should they? Most people don’t even want original features, they just want news as quickly and cheaply as possible. Social media sites like Twitter and Reddit do a better job in that respect.
And those who actually care for original content and features? They can get it for free from the hundreds of thousands of hobbyists willing to give everything away for nothing. Heck, in a lot of fields, these hobbyist articles are simply better than anything you’d pay for or get from the ‘professional’ media.
Either way, I hope you’re right (for the sake of journalists and writers continuing to earn a living), but I suspect any form of paid article/feature is just about dead and buried.