Yes. And guess who is promoting that free reading? Why, the newspapers themselves. It does strike me as silly but it seems this is going to be the way of the future. I suspect at some point reading the online "papers" will be by subscription only, as per the Melbourne Herald-Sun (though not all content is subscriber only).
There are a few serving and retired photographers around here from the local and State rags. A couple have found their niche in landscape work.