With journalism being neutered in favour of fluff pieces like [cat](http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,400242,00.html) [fashion](http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26089618) and covering the [latest reality tv shows](http://www.globaltvcalgary.com/Wipeout+Canada+Auditions/3301351/story.html), there is a real danger. If real professionals aren’t left in the newsrooms, who will be asking the tough questions?
From [an interview with climate scientist Stephen Schneider](http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/2010/julaug/features/schneider.html):
> The reason that we do not ask focus groups of farmers and auto workers to determine how to license airplane pilots and doctors is they have no skill at that. And we do not ask people with PhDs who are not climatologists to tell us whether climate science is right or wrong, because they have no skill at that, particularly when they’re hired by the fossil-fuel industry because of their PhDs to cast doubt. So here is where balance is actually false reporting.
>What the media needs to do is not to ignore outliers—we should never ignore outliers—[but] to frame where they sit in the spectrum of knowledgeable opinion. The good reporters always did that. They said, ‘There are a small number of people, many of whom are funded by particular industries, who make the following point.’ That’s completely legit, because now the public knows where these guys sit.
>But now, given the new media business-driven model, where they fired most specialists and the only people left in the newsroom are general-assignment reporters who have to do a grown-up’s job, how are they going to be able to discern the north end of a southbound horse?
The majority of those left in “journalism” aren’t able to perform the role that society needs them to. They’re so busy being generalists, trying desperately to pump up advertising revenue, that they’re simply unable to do what’s needed.
Scary stuff. And with many of the remnants of old school professional journalism now [actively pushing themselves](http://www.huffingtonpost.com/henry-blodget/murdochs-first-newspaper_b_652309.html) [into irrelevance](http://www.fastcompany.com/1671597/times-paywall-readership-subscriptions-circulation), what’s left? Bloggers? For serious, critical journalism?