Certainly it can be put back in the box. The whole setup is based on the acceptance of advertising as the basis for media in general and online media in specific. There are other possible models. For instance, you could ban online advertising and instead have free public web hosting for all, and a moderate government payment for sites that designated themselves as news providers based on a formula that weighed popularity on one hand and ratings of truthfulness, thought provoking-ness and so on by some panel or community of experts (journalists, certain kinds of academics or what have you). Sites would still be allowed to solicit money, including via things like Patreon and so on.
There are plenty of other possibilities. Advertising, certainly advertising as a dominant force, is not an inevitable part of society — after all, it is as the author points out very recent. It can arrive, it can also go away again.
It would kill the business models of Google, Facebook and various others, but something LIKE them in terms of their actual useful functions could still exist.