This morning on public radio WAMU’s (88.5 FM) Marketplace Morning Report, Andreas Kluth, a commentator from The Economist, argued that ‘old media’ needs to become more like an exchange — much like Yahoo and Google, where content, in whatever form, is bought, sold, and bartered. Gave the impression that ‘old media,’ I’m guessing he meant newspapers, TV and radio, should even get out of the content-creating business. What he wants is for such companies to emulate Google, and become the infrastructure for finding and trading content, in this case news.

I don’t see this working anytime soon. So The Washington Post is going to become a site where I can find wire stories, blogs, video and the like of news about D.C., the federal government, the world at large, local sports scores, etc.? And where I can buy and sell such news content? Great. Can’t wait to buy content from the Department of Such-and-Such, and to have a directory of blogs, individuals doing the work of the newspaper. Already have that, via Memeorandum. But the vast majority of the news there is from the ‘old media.’ That’s because blogs don’t create news (except for a handful); they comment on it.

Don’t hold your breathe. Blogs won’t be doing in-depth stories and investigative pieces anytime soon, like those we find in today’s major newspapers. Because it’s not free — content costs real money and takes real resources and talent.

There’s a much better piece about the future of newpapers over at The New Yorker by James Surowiecki.