The Pew Research Center has an interesting study out looking at the state of the news media. This section in particular caught my eye:
The migration to the web also continued to gather speed. In 2010, every news platform saw audiences either stall or decline -- except for the internet. Cable news, one of the growth sectors of the last decade, is now shrinking, too. For the first time in at least a dozen years, the median audience declined at all three cable news channels.
For the first time, too, more people said they got news from the web than newspapers. The internet now trails only television among American adults as a destination for news, and the trend line shows the gap closing.
The accompanying graphic is telling:
For my part, I now no longer gleen any of my information or analysis from television or hard print news papers. I do listen to one television show on podcast the day after it airs and I visit a couple of newspapers' websites. But the vast majority of my information comes from a network of people online.
When I was looking for information on events in Japan over the weekend, my first and last stop was Twitter. Which is not to suggest that traditional media sources have gone by the wayside. But rather that the lines of communication have gotten a lot more complex.
I know there are people out there who bemoan the virtuality of our interactions and analysis, but I find this meta-filter incredibly helpful when attempting to make sense of events in the world. On the one hand, there is a lot more junk available because of those increases in accessibility. But the flip side to that is that you have access to a whole host of people critically evaluating and commenting on that information, as well.
In essence, we now have a massive peer review system that is available to anyone with an Internet connection. With what I would describe as minimal effort, you can create a filtered network that can provide you with the best quality of information available. And those networks are growing.