New York University's Jay Rosen asserts that the authority of the press is weakened by the Internet. To simplify his idea, it's because the one-to-many of legacy media has been replaced by a one-to-many-who-share dynamic.
It's no longer a matter of being connected "up" to the media, but out to others. The audience "atomization" has been overcome.
"In the age of mass media, the press was able to define the sphere of legitimate debate with relative ease because the people on the receiving end were atomized— meaning they were connected “up” to Big Media but not across to each other. But today one of the biggest factors changing our world is the falling cost for like-minded people to locate each other, share information, trade impressions and realize their number."
Rosen provides a good look at what constitutes legitimate debate and other public spheres in information. It's a worthwhile read.