Loic is making a very good point, one that is becoming increasingly common as more people acquire mobile web access and have instantaneous broadcast capabilities with services like Twitter. There will be more of this but it doesn’t invalidate traditional media, it compliments it.
Funny I have just heard the official spokesperson of the Denver airport on CNN who was just saying “sorry I don’t know” or “sorry I can’t say” while we now have direct information from the sources themselves. Someone should interview Mike Wilson straight on Twitter while he is still there, one tweet at a time. I love the instant web.
The news is not a zero sum game, just because we have something like twitter doesn’t invalidate all of the other sources. We simply have to find a way to normalize the data inflows and separate streams on qualitative factors. Where journalism kicks in is the reporting of facts beyond the immediate what happened, such as what type of plane and how many passengers involved, trauma reports, emergency personnel perspective, and regulatory agency comment.
What is definitely additive to the entire process is the unfiltered and unvarnished coverage provided by people who are actual participants. Never before has it been so common to have live video from someone there, or in this case, tweets from someone on the plane. The news is a whole new ballgame.