The packaging of information as a commodity is a declining paradigm as we move into a world where value is placed on the abundance of information rather than it’s quality. This means that collectively, we would rather receive a 140-word Twitter notification about a piece of breaking news from an unknown source than wait several hours for it to be declared newsworthy, written, edited, refined and published by an accredited journalist.
The constant sharing, writing and curating of online news means that the power of legacy news institutions is diminishing. The new power is with the people; online virtual democracy is having a huge impact on the physical world. Look at the meme presidential campaign of Donald Trump, for example. We are the news, we write the news, we control the news. Rather than a fancy-shmancy editor-in-chief deciding what will make the front page, what trends in online news is determined by the quantity of nodes (audiences) tuning in, aggregating or curating – and isn’t that how it should be?
A fifty-year old woman with a Masters in Journalism could publish news of a street protest, but a five-year-old could film and publish the same event using his Dad’s smartphone – there is little difference these days. The internet, in all of its distributed glory, allows mass-to-mass communication which is trumping the one-to-many legacy media paradigm. We now live in an ecology where participation is its own reward and the users of the internet become its filters. Thus, there is no need for traditional gatekeepers; prosumers have become gatewatchers.