Look at cable news. Relative to political reporting it’s a cesspool of propaganda, conflicts of interest, and under-coverage or blackout coverage of news important to people. It’s chalk full of ads too. No wonder no one under 30 watches it. I think Fox News demo average is age 71 or something like that. It’s basically dead man walking. Good riddance.
On the other hand, a thriving republic or democracy absolutely cannot function well with a zombie print media. And that’s where we are at.
No one I know trusts the NYT or WaPo to cover news fairly or accurately, and with good reason. You likely have a plethora of examples supporting my assertion. The obvious solution is to purge partisans, political spinners, surrogates, and hacks, and start covering news free of agendas, including those of plutocrat owners. (C’mon David Brooks still holds a job at the NYT despite being wrong about ….well….everything). If there is no profit in the news division, so be it. Spin the division off as a non profit.
Charge a premium with ad free content once reader trust has been regained. Miracles CAN happen and must happen right now because print media is down there with cable news and congress in favorability ratings. Otherwise print MSM is doomed. It will literally cease to exist except as a tabloid as the older population dies off and the younger demo moves to alternative outlets such as TYT to get accurate information.
In short, quality may be undefinable in the eye of the beholder. But truth, like science, is pretty measurable. That should be your metric. I’m scared because learned people like you seem to have no clue how important it is to solving this media problem to which you have devoted part of your life.