From Crooked Timber:
The absolute refusal of the Post to take a position on the truth or falsity of what it publishes (along with the continued scandal of anonymous sourcing) leads me to a steadily more negative view of the question of whether we actually need newspapers and whether we should regret their seemingly inexorable decline. The standard claim is that without reporters, we in the blogosphere would have no material to work on. But Will’s recycling of long-refuted Internet factoids (something very common among rightwing pundits in particular) shows that, in important respects, the opposite is true.
More importantly as far as political and business news goes, there is almost always someone with an interest in having any given story published. If newspapers are unwilling to take a stand on which stories are true or false, their only function is that of gatekeeper – determining which stories see the light of day and which do not. The potential for corruption in this role is clear, and the reality was obvious particularly in relation to the Iraq war.
In other words, what difference does it make if newspapers have the power to actually go find news, to determine truth or falsity, if all they plan to do with these powers is pump out the same old horseshit?
As an aside, I believe that a Ontario Press Council complaint was once filed against an Ottawa Citizen reporter for recycling some old denialist chest-nuts, though I haven't been able to find the relevant material at their site. In any case, if newspapers are not willing to correct factual errors in science pieces, then perhaps there is indeed no hope for them.