"Bread, consider your old model disrupted" *eats handful of flour*

When it comes to gnashing over the death of competent and compensated journalism, David Simon (creator of The Wire and former crime reporter for the Baltimore Sun) is my preferred Cassandra.

As for the blogosphere, it just isn’t a factor for [crime and police] reporting. Most of those who argue that new-media journalism is growing, exploding even, in a democratic burst of egalitarian, from-all-points-on-the-compass reportage are simply never talking about beat reporting of a kind that includes qualitative judgment and analysis. There’s more raw information, sure. And more commentary. And there are, for what it’s worth, more fledgling sites to look for that kind of halfway-there stuff. Usually, such sites are what folks point at and laud when they argue that the bulldozing of mainstream media can proceed without worry.

At one point last week, I noted a comment on a journalism website in which a new-media advocate pointed out that local websites were perfectly capable of printing the details of every murder as they occurred — as if such a feat undertaken by so-called citizen journalism isn’t mere accounting, but something on the level of real reportage.
— http://www.bestofneworleans.com/gambit/why-beat-reporters-matter/Content?oid=2037437

His point about new media hustlers mistaking raw information for the mulled, interrogated and useful final product is a great takeway. While I'm glad we have access to all that shaky phone footage of police misconduct, actual muckraking takes a salaried reporter making calls every day. And so it always shall be.