Ratings Reign Supreme When It Comes To News
America doesn't care about real news. We'd rather hear about something stupid or sensational. The guy who runs Fark.com and makes his living off stupid news knows this and wrote a great commentary for the Christian Science Monitor about this subject. People care about crap news and not real news. For cripes sakes, Fox News devoted 12 times more coverage to Anna Nicole than Walter Reed (and this was nearly a month after her death), and while I have my feelings about the bias at Fox News, I still don't think they would've done it had they not felt that it would get them better ratings.
I doubt we'll ever see the day again where mainstream/major news outlets care as more about good newsgathering then they do ratings/visits to their site or channel. The best sources of news will be the small-town dailies and small-market news shows and blogs. Now if they just weren't such a pain to find ... .