See that last sentence there, about political parties re-entering the news business? I think Shafer is exactly right about where we’re heading. While outlets like my employer, and Jack’s, and maybe ESPN, may invest in commercial news, most of the political and international journalism that we’re used to seeing is going to be ideological, if not explicitly partisan. People will come to the news assuming that the people making it have an agenda — and they will seek out outlets that match their own agenda, if they see political news at all…
As I say, a more ideological media will probably also be a more conservative media, because there are a lot more conservatives in the donor class, and in the audience, than there are in the media. Which means that this edge will probably slip.
How far it will slip is impossible to say. For starters, we don’t even have a reliable estimate of the edge Democratic politicians get from having most of the media and the entertainment industry in their ideological camp. It’s safe to say that right now this does give Democrats an edge, and that that edge will probably get smaller in the future, unless conservative donors simply refuse to fund journalism for “their side.”
Even if the demographic decline is larger than the edge they gain from media change, this may at least keep Republicans in the game, meaning they only need to peel off a few voters from a few demographics to keep competitive. If I’m right, we may be a 50/50 nation for some time to come. We may also be a much angrier one.