Reason Magazine poses a controversial question: Could public relations professionals be the replacement for investigative journalists?
Tim Cavanaugh argues that many of the most important world facts have been provided not by journalists but by those in public relations, that the PR world is not necessarily one of spinners and disinformers,
"Flackery requires putting together credible narratives from pools of verifiable data. This activity is not categorically different from journalism," he suggests.
Many would challenge not only that assumption but the issue of whether PR professionals would be in a position to provide this information if they weren't authorized to be given access to it within a special-interest group or company.
But it's a question pushed forward by Cavanaugh's assertion that organizations will not be able to sustain their journalism. Someone, somewhere, has to fill the gap, he notes.