This is a crisis with many overlapping and deep-seated causes, not just a problem but what scholars call a wicked problem a mess. You dont solve messes, you approach them with humility and respect for their beastliness. Trying things you know wont fix it can teach you more about the problems wickedness. Thats progress. Realizing that no one is an expert in the problem helps, because it means that good ideas can come from anywhere.
Being willing to start over is good, too. If I were running a big national desk in DC, I would try to zero-base the beat structure. Meaning: if you had no existing beats for covering national affairs in Donald Trumps America, if you had to create them all from scratch, what would that system look like?
Is that going to fix whats broken in political journalism? Nope. But trying it might reveal possibilities that were harder to see before. So let me be clear about this: I dont have solutions to what I described in part one. And Im not saying my suggestions are equal to the task. They are not. Rather, this is what I can think of. I have a series of small ideas that might be worth trying and a larger one to spell out.
I wish had better answers for you.