The Globe and Mail today had a great piece on the deterioration of the newspaper industry and the implications of this for democracy. One of the main concerns is the need for fact based information, rather than the opinion driven contribution of the internet. Quality and reliability are critical to an informed citizenry and to the effectiveness of democracy.
The article also points to the fact that we are all going to have to use our critical thinking skills more frequently as we evaluate and assess the information that we gather in a digital world. There are no guarantees of accuracy, no fact checkers, no peer review on the web. As we gather information to make decisions, whether business or personal, we’re going to have to use our information literacy skills much more. Sorting the useful from the irrelevant, and the factual from erroneous or misleading will become a greater and greater burden to us as we are the recipients of more and more information. The irony is that we have more and more data, but perhaps less knowledge.