Eli Pariser's New York Times opinion piece immediately start out spot on. As a journalist, and someone who lives and breathes for hard-hitting news, it disheartens me when stories like Pariser mentioned about Syria receive less attention than entertainment related articles like the Jerry Seinfeld letter to the editor. Not only that, but the Syria article was an A1 story, and the Seinfeld letter was A26, hence the title for Pariser's opinion piece, "Real News Will Come From Beyond the Front Page of the Newspaper." And even though I read the news often, I'm guilty of how Pariser says that "more traffic is coming to news sites "sideways" -- via direct links to articles and videos, rather than via the front page."
I think Pariser's wager that by 2016 "high-quality, public issue-focused content online" coming from social media is a fair assumption to make. Currently existing nonprofit and advocacy groups already have a huge following, and it is only safe to assume they will grow. Pariser ends by saying, "the only thing worse than hearing one view on an important issue is hearing none at all." That alternative is a scary one that I'm sure all journalists can agree is the worst case scenario, and one much worse than a Jerry Seinfeld article getting more clicks than one on Syria.