Internet provides an interesting conundrum with news. While you have some sources like NYTimes, CNN, Fox, BBC, Washington Times and other sources on the left and right who have staffs of journalists who, for the most part provide accurate news, the internet also has millions of other sources that are not so clear.
One of the hardest things about the move to internet based news is getting folks to realize that, just because it is on the internet, and on a well designed web site does not make the information accurate, correct or void of overt spin.
Wikipedia is a very good example of this phenomenon. While there is some very good information on Wiki, there is a tremendous amount of information, placed by "netizen users" who, either intentionally or due to lack of knowledge post incorrect information. This then propagates throughout the blogsphere with no ability to correct it.
The only way to understand, at this point of internet news is with very good critical thinking skills and the willingness to have a breadth of reading sources that circumvents the biased or erroneous "reporting".
When we have large national level newspapers, we have an understanding that, even if they have some political slant, they do not intentionally print erroneous, non checked material as it has entirely too many people who are able to verify from within the readership. It has its own checks and balances system in place. Blogs, by their more partisan nature do not.
Very well put but why have the Large National Papers been on the decline? For the most part it is because the format is too slow.
The 24hr news cycle on TV has done more damage than anything else. Compound that with the overt bias that is in the majority of national papers and people have no interest in the front page of The New York Times.
Interestingly enough, I remember a short study that showed that Local newspapers have not lost any readership to speak of. I wish I could find that now.
I know that wherever I was overseas in the military my hometown paper was sent to me and I loved it. We used to swap papers with each other and I would read about Olsen's market in Wisconsin having the beef chuck on sale, and they would read the Police blotter on Essex County New Jersey, etc.
I still have a subscription to my hometown paper and the local paper from where my wife's family in Massachusetts is from.
If the big nationals want to succeed they need to provide a product that people want.
They have tried to go into more analysis but they keep shooting themselves in the foot. They go on and on about their objectivity and yet their bias shines through. I really think they have missed the boat on the whole "Interwebz."
They needed to jump on that a long time ago and they didn't. People don't want the Newspaper on their computer screen. They need something more. Then again it just may be a sign of the times (no pun intended) and the large national papers need to die a natural death without our tax money to hold them up.
As for intentionally printing erroneous material, suffice it to say that there have been enough incidents of journalistic malfeasance to make a considerable number of people disagree with you.