John Thompson gets provocative at journalist.co.uk:
…if the technology to deliver local multimedia news is becoming so much cheaper and more accessible, why do we need journalists?
Already, on the back of blogging, we have a new phenomenon known as “podcasting”. Anyone with basic equipment can now effectively ‘broadcast’ by recording to MP3 files that can be downloaded via the web to play on iPods or other MP3 players. All of which will contribute to the continuing rise of the “citizen journalist”, who can publish more quickly than any journalist working in print, and who can target niche areas more effectively because he or she is not handicapped by overheads.
As Jason Salas, a news reporter writes: “In my opinion, most newspapers will fall victim to their own ignorance/arrogance and failure to realise they’re too far behind the times until it’s too late. They’ll be dead before they know it – a sad but not unexpected casualty in the name of industrial progress.”
Even if all that comes to pass, we’d still need journalists. And, more importantly, I think we’d need editors to sort through all that citizen journalism and aggregate the best of it. Otherwise, we’ll all wind up wading through separate morasses of half-truths, opinion and misguided facts, and we’ll be the worse for it.