Editorial control is not a problem when the price of starting a news website will be so low that unlike now no one small group can control the opinion page or the reporting in general. If a main web news sites get off balance it will be replace in very short order as it viewers will leave it.
You will in the end have a fairly balance large news webs sites as you have large newspapers and keeping them honest will be many others sites ready and eager to call them out on any errors and take their place.
I wish I had your confidence, Bill.
(I feel like I'm going around in circles, but..) the way I see it, quality news & commentary is dependent
on the media proprietors' willingness to pay for quality journalists. And since Murdoch (like most other large news proprietors) is primarily concerned with making as big a profit as possible ... & given the unprofitabilty of many existing newspapers, combined with declining revenue from (off & online) advertising, I foresee a future in which we'll have more "generic" syndicated news & less of the specialized, indepth quality writing currently found in the "better" news outlets. Because employing quality journalists will no longer be considered financially "viable".
Also, looking at A2Kers responses to the notion of paying for online news (on this thread) it appears that few would be interested in paying extra & would probably rely on whatever free sites are available online.
Some might think "so what?". But informed, quality news feeds all the rest
. Even independent blogs rely on them (initially at least) for information & debate.
So yes, there'll still be a lot of free online news material available, but it's the quality & diversity (& perhaps accuracy) of the reporting & commentary that will suffer (in my opinion). A lot more infotainment (than we have now) posing as news, because that is what "most people" want, what the advertisers will pay for ... & which will give the media owners their greatest possible profit.