No, clickbait journalism emerged as a result of the opposite of a free-market. For no free-market can exist without its paradoxical rules. And without paradoxical rules, a marketplace portraying to be free turns by definition subprime, regardless of the kind of marketplace in question.
Journalism, on the whole, has fallen prey to the hollow premise and abusive nature of advertising propaganda. A reason why I applaud Jeff Bezos’ investment in the Washington Post, removing the destructive power of advertising from the equation of journalism and letting the trust in news sell itself. I suggest you financially support the news outlets you feel you can trust.
Overall the news business is in trouble, for I cannot imagine consumers paying for all the news they would previously have access to for free. A subscription to, say, each of the following The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The LA Times, and a few others easily costing more than you want to spend every month.
So, I think the news business is prone to disintermediation, away from big monolithic brands, with a physical paper as their ball-and-chain, towards the trust in individual journalists building and preserving their reputation online, first.
The future of journalism is a dynamic syndicate of those journalists who hold trust and integrity in high regard. A formal syndicate needed to incur some of the aggregate cost to enable quality investigative reporting. Delivering a modifiable playlist of your favorite journalists called “my trust in journalism.”