My friend Steve Boriss, a journalism professor over at Washington University and owner of this blog, always has something to say on the future of news gathering, newspapers and reporting. This is his latest post:
For virtually every news story, there have been sources willing to provide information for free (e.g. newsmakers, whistleblowers, witnesses, think tanks, litigants), and many sources even willing to pay to have their story told (e.g. think of the not-insignificant size of the Public Relations industry).
In fact, the stories that most journalists believe represent the best of their profession, like Watergate and Enron, were almost entirely whistleblower-driven.
Unfortunately for journalists, the Internet is revealing that there is little reason for news outlets to spend money on reporters if all they do is seek what news sources are already willing to give them, rewrite what news sources are already willing to write, and distribute what news sources are already able to distribute.