This would be even better than embedding journalists in small towns (which is a very good idea, imho). Teach people to be journalists. We could have eyes and ears everywhere.
Like the Indivisible howto, but for journalism. Teach everyday people the basics of reporting. It would be incredible for our self-government if we had millions of people who knew how to report based on actual facts.
A civil defense system against a central government that's out of control. Think of it as a backup system. An Emergency Broadcast System for news.
Viewing the First Amendment the way gun advocates view the Second, a defense against tyranny.