When people talk about how news works in the future, the only thing that matters, as far as I'm concerned is how ideas flow.
Before the net, intermediaries had huge power, because the means of communication were expensive.
After the net, intermediaries are not as important because the means of communication are now relatively cheap.
That's why search engines are useful.
It's also why people with expertise are important, they're the ones with the ideas.
We used to call them "sources."
It's still a useful concept.
Sources used to have to communicate through reporters and editors, but not so much any more. They can go direct to the people who want to hear from them. Hence, "sources go direct" is the difference between news today and news in the past.
So when you're looking for what's different now, to understand if a news system will work or not, ask yourself if it builds on sources communicating directly. If it does, it's likely to make a difference.
PS: Cross-posted on Facebook without the cute picture of the cowgirl in the right margin.