Its business rationale is as an advertising-delivery vehicle, with 80 percent of the typical paper’s total revenue coming from ads. That’s what’s going away. In hopes of preserving that advertising model, newspapers have decided to defend their hold on the public’s attention by giving away, online, the very information they were trying to sell in print. However that decision looks in the long run, for now it has created a rising generation of “customers” who are out of the habit of reading on paper and are conditioned to think that information should be free.
A great point about what happens when you sell a product that is heavily leveraged by advertising revenue. More important to note in this quote is how their very shift to publishing their online content for free has conditioned an entire generation to believe that content is now free.