I recently watched this EPIC video
about the rise of blogging and computer-generated media (like google news) v. the "quality control," journalistic ethics, and democratic values of traditional news and media (like The New York Times), and then talked with a friend about the whole issue. I know there is something good about the rise of a more diverse media smorgasbord but had a hard time putting my intuitive finger on it.
The key concern is that as people are able to have more control over the information they receive, they will increasingly only be interested in shallow trivia and not deep quality information. Anyone who thinks that institutions or elites are sources of quality control should take a walk through their local bookstore. Traditional media (TV, newspapers, etc.) are no more "quality" than anything else. They produce a product for consumption.
The value of a diverse media arena, even including parody like The Onion, is that individuals can track multiple information sources that filter for different kinds of quality. "Quality" is not a single scale ranging from good to bad. There are many kinds of quality.
Nonetheless, the real point is that if information is a product, tailored by the consumer (the ultimate in individualist libertarianism) then people will only consume what they want and never what they should. The Community is sometimes a necessary leader that needs to point out important things. This is the age-old political theory dilemma of "should the State follow where citizens lead, or should the State lead and citizens follow?"...
... and that is no trivial question.