In discussions of new journalism economics, I don't hear anyone addressing this problem of persuading the existing human capital to enter the new reality. Granted, the proto-journalists in school today expect that the jobs they graduate to will be profoundly different than the jobs of the past (at least, they do where I teach). But there are not enough new graduates to repopulate the industry overnight. So, even though it needs to get lean, journalism also needs those mid-career people -- but it is not currently offering them any compelling reasons to stay.
It's true: Reporters must be entrepreneurial on their own behalf and look for opportunities to innovate. But a problem -- and this is not a new observation -- is that the traditional layered organization of newsrooms is structurally hostile to innovation. (Context: I currently do magazine freelance and work at a Web site, but spent 20 years at four newspapers, exiting a year ago.) It's incredibly hard for journalists who are trying to innovate to push a Web-related idea up the ladder. The answer might seem to be to try it yourself -- but at some papers, personal, non-paper blogs are explicitly forbidden, or must be pre-approved and vetted.
Here's the opportunity that's being missed: The central issue for writers isn't where the story is, local or national; it's how rich the story is, and how deep they are allowed to go. People stay in journalism because it lets them exercise particular talents as fact finders and storytellers, and that exercise gives them joy. (God knows no one stays for the money.)
Web-based means of storytelling, and hyperlocal stories, do offer such opportunities. But my experience is that many writers don't believe it. Instead, they feel their work being squeezed into from-above templates that devalue the best skills they have to offer. The mid-career people who currently are leaving say that what they hear from managers is, "You must do this." But what they need to hear, to be persuaded, is "You can thrive doing this." And they're not.