A similar thing has happened to journalism. Journalists bemoan the demise or at least weakening of print journalism, saying the reduced readerships means the research staffs, editors and journalists have become fewer and that therefore the public will become increasingly poorly informed. Well, the demise or weakening of the NY times and the like is indeed a bad thing. But there is an up side. The problem with the old print system was "the boys on the bus" syndrome. That is, if there was a crisis in Egypt, large numbers of journalists would assemble in Cairo, all stay in the same hotel, and all report more or less the same story. None of them would speak Arabic, none of them would have a deeper long term knowledge of the country, and then the next week they would all fly to Paris to cover the next crisis, stay in the same hotel etc. At present, blogs on the internet are written by Egyptians. In fact many Egyptians, living in many parts of Egypt and speaking all the local languages. They are university professors, politicians, everything, and they have a huge experience of the local history, customs and intimate familiarity with the principal players. It's difficult for an outsider to filter out who to listen to, but there are also links, blog editors and increasing mechanisms to lead interested readers to the best sources. It's really hard to maintain that readers are less informed now than they were in the heyday of the Times.