I just wanted to follow up my post from last night on the importance of professional journalism's survival in the face of the new media onslaught.
CNN online ran quite a fitting follow up piece today about the very same topic. It is a scary proposition, as some of the comments following the article express, if user-generated content becomes so dominant that the news becomes something difficult to trust and is by and large unsubstantiated opinion.
The article claims that large national newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post will most likely survive, and may indeed thrive under this new order. But I still think there is a danger.
It is pretty ironic that web 2.0 and the new media are promoted as handing power back into the hands of people, but at the same time manage to destroy the Fourth Estate which is arguably one of the most important checks on our democracy.
I have to think there is some sort of happy medium, but what that might be is unclear right now. It is a red flag when it becomes increasingly more difficult to find any source of news that is worth trusting, even marginally, without extensive checking. Not that one should trust everything they read, but if at any time the impetus to do the fact checking falls primarily on the shoulders of readers, the corpse of our democracy will be laid in a coffin lined with newspaper.