The 'gatekeepers' became a term of revile. But when you think about the flow of information, I personally value immensely the calibration a news organ, whether it's on the web or in print, brings to the floodwaters of information. I haven't the time to read all the dispatches of the Associated Press, for example. It's fantastic what they put out, it's extremely good, from all over the world. I like when someone acts as a filter.
Some blogs have become the best check on monopoly mainstream journalism, and they provide a surprisingly frequent source of initiative reporting.
I wrote about Bosnia at the time. Somebody looked out their window and saw gangsters coming down the street and doing ethnic cleansing. I said that was the thing that would happen in the future, someone phoning in what they were seeing on the scene. Whether it's the Huffington Post, the Daily Beast, Drudge Report or the BBC, all those reports, you have to assume there's a real person [who] has credibility.
I think there's a lot of benefit in letting people vent. When I was on the Manchester Evening News, we got 500 letters a day, and part of my job as editor was to edit them. And I thought that was one of the best things in the newspaper, and it was instituted by an editor known as Big Tom, who said 'this is the voice of the people.' And he was quite right.