Alan Rusbridger in his speech on open-source journalism at Queen Mary, University of London argues that when the news media and social media cooperate, the true and important stories come out.
People want a voice, but while the individual social media user may have the expertise to tell the story or may even be a witness to the story, they don’t generally have the audience, time or financial resources to get the story out. News media has the wider audience and research and reporting capabilities, but doesn’t always have all of the facts or the expertise to give the story justice.
In combination though, the news media can use social media to learn what’s happening and where, gather many points of view, and gain knowledge without the time and expense of expert consultants. While social media puts pressure on the news media to get the story right, social media also helps the news media to get the story right. Individuals can use social media to focus the news media on stories that are important and contribute their knowledge so that what is reported is true. In addition, social media serves to correct false information after it is published and to widen the discussion on the issues that the story addresses. The wider discussion that results is the point because within the discussion is where the real work of democracy gets done.