It's easier all the time to imagine a future where MSM organizations are irrelevant. Quality will suffer of course, but if quality were a priority for news consumers, this would look very different:
Constant reader crionna pointed me to this hypothetical scenario by which the future behemoth Googlezon (Google + Amazon) defeats the New York Times Company in a SCOTUS case that allows Googlezon (via their new product EPIC [Evolving Personalized Information Construct]) to sell the work of freelance editors (that's where you and I come in) who put their version of the truth online. EPIC then sorts through the available data and customizes the news from a multitude of sources for each reader according to their demographics, desires, network of friends, etc. The result is criticized in some quarters as a collection of trivia, much of it untrue, all of it narrow and shallow, but essentially it's what the public wants. The MSM retreats from the fight, and by 2014 The New York Times goes offline.
Perception trumps reality.
I see a few problems with this scenario, though. Someone will have to still collect the raw data (quotes from those on the scene, photos, etc.). If it's the freelancers (and who will the most successful of them likely be if not ex-MSM reporters?), they will still need some procedures, guidelines, etc., by which to operate, and those with the higher standards will become the most sought after, no? In other words, if one source proves to be more reliable, even though you can't necessary distinguish that person's contribution in the jumble you're fed, that person will rise in power eventually, no?
God, I hope so.