Hunting down bad guys and exposing corruption will always be a central mission for journalists. But will it always be the most important one? Is it now?
Matt Thompson argues in "The Press' New Paradigm" that helping people grasp the meaning of the complex information that defines contemporary life may be the highest calling for journalists these days. In an age when Enron's misdeeds went unchallenged because they were buried in complexity few could penetrate, he may have a point. I read a book not long ago called "Data Smog" that makes the telling point that bad information -- like polluted air -- can be toxic.
I encourage you to click through to Matt's essay and then come back for some discussion in the comments here. These are important questions.
But data modeling instead of gumshoes? Man, talk about revenge of the nerds.
– Howard Weaver