One of the advantages of New Media, I suppose, is that it opens up the dialog to more voices.
That carries its own risks, such as the bald racism and ignorance that seem rampant on the internet.
Maybe that's the price we pay for leveling the playing field and opening the door for a wider range of perspectives.
Journalists may be faulted for fencing themselves in and creating an exclusive club, accessible only to those with the proper credentials, but their "gatekeeping" role, for all of its faults, has been a huge public service, especially when it filters out false information, maligning and name-calling, and fosters intelligent and open discussion.
Arianna Huffington, as you probably know, recently enthused on Capitol Hill the emerging class of online citizen journalists, who will allegedly take up the slack where the real pros have all but disappeared.
For now, I remain a skeptic.
Will citizen journalists have the resources and determination to doggedly pursue corrupt public officials? Will they have the skill and support to ferret out the Cunninghams and Abramoffs of the world?
As newsrooms have continued to diminish, and news pages have gotten thinner, I worry that an enormous information black hole is forming.
So far as I can tell, the transition from print to digital news has done little to improve the quality of information available to the average citizen.