Harvard professor Persephone Miel has examined the arrival of participatory, citizen-generated media in order to evaluate its contribution to the landscape.
Not surprisingly she finds that on its own it cannot replace so-called legacy media. But she thinks that one day it might be able to.
"Participatory media is great, has lots of potential. But it’s not doing everything we have counted on journalism institutions to do and, left to its own devices, it never will. Those journalism institutions, never perfect, are in serious trouble. Many will save themselves, as businesses, but there is no guarantee they will maintain their commitment to doing the journalism we need. People who for whatever reason (time, money, skills, desire) are not taking charge of creating their own online news diet still deserve to have access to comprehensive credible sources of news."
At first blush, her 168-page report has plenty of talking points. Principally she notes that traditional media are running out of steam and need to think through new models to sustain themselves.