Re: Crocodile tears
I'm not sure the situation is analogous. With Ivy Leagues and MOOCs, the Ivy Leagues (and MITs, Stanfords, and similarly placed schools) recognize that they're already getting a great deal of their bread and butter through donations -- so they can afford to take a hit on tuition in this way because it will only strengthen their brand while actively hurting the "little guys" (if a college charging $30-60k/year for tuition can be called a "little guy"). In this way, democratization helps both customers and market leaders.
With news sources -- WSJ and NYT and other top outlets compared to "the little guys" -- it's different. News in this Buzzfeed age has become commoditized, and people take a "This Six-Second Video of a Baby Squirrel Will Shatter All of Your Preconceived Notions about Gun Control" Upworthy blog as seriously as they do a NYT piece. The market is different, the price points are different, and the margins are razor thin. Why contribute to already thinning margins? It makes no sense. Better to work to widen the margins.