Here's the real point of it: If the newspaper wants to bypass a good photo, then so be it! Somebody else gets the scoop, somebody else gets the attention. That's the reality of the marketplace. And it's just one paper, not a collective. The editors want to make that choice, fine. Read a different paper.
A while back, one of the New York papers decided that they wouldn't cover a certain popular celebrity tragedy magnet for two weeks. Coincidentally, there wasn't any news about that celebrity for two weeks. There was a hubub when they announced what they had done, cries of censorship, etc. But the world press is pretty free, isn't it? If one paper doesn't cover something, another will.
The quote might be, "If a newspaper isn't shocking, then it's entertainment for someone." The paper is supposed to full of news, not opinion. The Oregonian is nicknamed by many as, The Oregroanian, because of all the opinion in it. The small Yakima Herald is a paper that will lead the front page with a breaking science story, but you'll be lucky to find it in The Oregonian.
I think that's the primary reason that many papers have folded. The readership went away because the papers all ran the same sipid story from the wire, and when the Internet came along, what was the point of buying the paper? Everybody ran the same story, even for local news. Newspapers have claimed to feel the presure from radio and television, but radio has been popular in the early 1900s, and TV has been popular since the 1940s. That pressure hasn't been anything new. Newspapers cut back on reporting, so people's eyeballs went someplace more interesting. People will pay for something interesting. But the newspapers really aren't interesting anymore, because they aren't being our interesting insight.