One of the categories of advertising that gets either no or only occasional attention is what I would call "personal" advertising. This could be display, is most often classified, but which could be so much more.
Imagine if each of us was offered a chance to have an advertising account at our local newspaper. This would be the place where we would buy "space" of all different kinds. It might be space to advertise a political point of view. It might be space to sell an old car.
What could be really different about this approach would be the notion that you could freely mix and match print and electronic. If you wanted to sell your house, you'd get x amount of space in the printed paper of your choosing and you'd get y amount of space and features in the web and via e-mail. Each component could be separately priced and yet bundled offerings of all kinds could be offered as well.
I'd stress the opportunities for self-expression, especially on the web. Got something to say, we'll help you do it even better than you can do it on your own.
If newspapers cannot make the pitch successfully for the latter, what good are they when it comes to servicing the needs of their customers?
A lot of this new business might be driven by pure ego. Somebody wants to show off the new addition to their house or photos of a wedding. Nothing wrong with that. Digital space is nearly limitless and why should newspapers give it away if they can present it better than the customer can do it on his or her own?