Writer Cory Doctorow says "citizen journalists" are making the online world more trustworthy.

CBC News Editor in Chief Tony Burman says people want a genuine two-way relationship with their providers of information.

And author Clive Thompson says the web means traditional media can no longer dictate the national conversation.

Read their articles and then get into the discussion about the future of online journalism.

Your comments

Does this really have any effect on traditional media. I don't think it ultimately will. People want credibility.

Posted by: Harold from Ottawa on June 11, 2006 12:25 AM

newspapers are the seeds of all journalism, tv, radio or otherwise.

Posted by: kal-el from toronto on June 12, 2006 03:31 PM

I don't know. As much as i like the web as an outlet for news and opinion - much of it very good - it doesn't feel as authentic to me as say something said by Knowlton Nash. He and his counterparts may have had a stranglehold into the cliqueish world of politics, but they also had the bonafides to know what was news - and what was mere opinion.

Posted by: John from Fredericton on June 14, 2006 03:07 PM

Media outlets are no longer competing with each other. They are competing for our attention, be it radio, television, print, games, internet, DVDs, CDs and cell phones. Under these formats, media owners and producers will have to make their works available on a regular basis and on as many formats as possible to succeed. Clearly the Christian Science Monitor has learned this. It's all about accessibility so that I can get that favourite tv show or article when I want it and on a format of my choosing. Consequently, media companies will need to position themselves accordingly because they have the most content. We're living in interesting times.

Posted by: LeonTrotsky from Toronto on June 14, 2006 03:20 PM

I think that as more and more information goes up on the web and becomes more available for mass consumption, there will be even MORE need for trusted media outlets and journalists to sort through it all, make sense of it all, and add some credibility...people are getting busier and busier in their daily lives and don't have time to read everything before deciding what to believe, so the need for those credible journalists and news outlets will never really diminish. They'll just have to adapt to changing formats.

Posted by: Lucio from Toronto on June 15, 2006 02:29 PM

That's an interesting point. It isn't at all clear to me that the appetite for a news and information "gatekeeper" is forever gone, or forever forfeited to the hands of citizen journalists.

The online world is certainly moving toward becoming an enormous storehouse of stuff, more than any person can handle individually. The two strategies for dealing with it are either search it (viz Google, Gmail, YouTube, etc.) or get someone (or some thing) to recommend what's relevant. But you need to do one or the other, because the vast majority of what is out there is crap (or, to be kind, uninteresting to you.)

While there's lots to be said for marquee bloggers, voting and send to a friend, there's also a role for professionals. People whose careers, reputations and paycheques rely on being knowledgeable, cultivating connections, getting the facts right, and seeing the bigger picture. The rest of the internet can add an incredibly valuable layer to those underpinnings - fact checking, comparing, linking, outing bias, etc. - but it doesn't replace it.

I certainly use the internet to either to seach for something specific, or get recommendations from non-professionals, but I still turn to traditional media sources because they remain, to me, the most interesting and credible. And even in the zillion-channel universe, I don't really see radio or TV following this model of "you be the producer." Those media continue to prove that often people want to sit back and be entertained or informed, or both. They don't always want to do the work of searching, interacting, and firing up their BS detectors.

Posted by: Noot from Toronto on June 16, 2006 02:12 PM

It's interesting. I think online news truly is becoming more important than newspapers or tv alone... those agencies still gather the news but more and more people, well, me at least, look to websites... kind of in the same way news editors look to wires... but I still want to see intelligent commentary.

I don't want to see just a ticker tape of news... and I want an archive of news stories, and looking online is a lot easier than digging into that pile of globes on my coffee table... but at the same time, right now, most online sites, give you a very thin version of the news... stories are too short... I'd love to see a site like the New York Times but with the first 2-3 paragraphs of news, or a radio style summary... so I can scan the same way I would a newspaper. I also want to see records of corrections, just like one would in a newspaper... (I dislike looking at online stories on CBC.ca and only being able to see when they were last updated, rather than the original versions...

Posted by: Jake from Edmonton on June 17, 2006 07:21 AM

Online IS a credible means to find and receive information. First of all, there is no bottom line, editorial powers or corporate agendas that dicate lead stories and sidelines others. There are citizens who have a genuine desire to bring information into the open. The perspectives on situations and subjects range wide and far - beyond the "academic" classroom theories of schooled journalists and talking heads and writers who sit at desks.

Posted by: Sanaam from Toronto on June 29, 2006 10:29 AM

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