mk has discussed the idea of a per click rate that gets paid directly by the consumer to the content producer (e.g. $0.10 to read an NYT story). This is feasible in the age of digital payments platforms. I fear that it would lead to even more click-baitey titles, but at least it's a way to try to generate revenue from consumers instead of businesses, which reincentivizes the news organizations to make readers their priority and not advertisers.
I subscribe to exactly three media publications (outside of academic ones), NYT, New Yorker, and Washington Post. New Yorker barely counts, because I only read the print edition. So effectively, all my digital media money goes to two producers. However, thanks to social media, I often read things from the Atlantic, the Week, Politico, etc. All of these producers are giving me a free ride. On the other hand they're getting eyes on their screen, so they're selling me out, too. FB, Twitter, Snapchat, et al., are only conduits--powerful middle men. The producers are the ones who should be getting rewarded for their work (i.e. it's the Post and not FB that keeps breaking stories). I'm all for separating the social from the media, but the media companies need to insist on a better way to make money. Social media companies are leeches who I suspect, despite having some of the highest valuations out there, are a net drag on the economy. I have exactly xero data to back this up.