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In a world where news is ubiquitous, social, and instant, what is the quality of that news?

Many consider it to be instant where in fact it may take a several days to be verified. In a world full of instant amateur journalism how do we gauge the quality of that news and its provenance? There have been cases where stories are trending in twitter for example that turn out to be inaccurate.

If you could visualize a news-worthy story on social media it would be like a firestorm spreading across the web, but every firestorm is started from a spark and who can instantly verify if that spark wasn’t set for nefarious purposes, inferring that social news can also be manipulated .

It has been proven that any group of people will report an incident differently sometimes varying wildly. Even mainstream media such as the BBC etc are now referring to social media in their reports. Are we thus accepting a lower standard of news?

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    Dec 4 2012: My world doesn't seem to be full of instant amateur journalism. I don't get Twitter so I don't know how it works. Can you only get the Twitter feeds on subjects that interest you, that you already know something about? Thus presumably you might have some background to assess the news being handed you.

    I really haven't heard of any terrible mishaps occuring because of bad instant journalism. Perhaps you're overrating the quantity of reads of or influence of things like Twitter.

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