Some thought-leaders (Jeff Jarvis, Tim O'Reilly, for instance) suggest the "let's get them" era is subsiding and that journalism will have to be more collaborative with government to distribute data. At the very least, some different thinking needs to emerge.
It won't be a matter of pulling punches but having more than punches in the arsenal, they suggest.
"I think we're at an inflection point where we're moving away from this model of advocacy which is about making people wrong and catching people out and moving to a model of advocacy that's about what we want to build together," O'Reilly told writer Nick Judd.
"Figuring out how to change that dynamic, but retain credibility and usefulness as government watchdogs, may be the first step towards changing this system," Judd writes. If mainstream media are part of the problem, then they are obviously in this case part of the solution.