That democratic cliché “freedom of the press” is a bit misleading, because to be able to exercise it, you needed to own or control the capital equipment and distribution channel to get your message out, so clearly this freedom was limited to a very few.
However, freedom of the press has an entirely new dimension, as now anyone can publish, you just need a computer and a weblog account. Of course, you still have to get people to engage with what is written, but you can put it out there easily and cheaply.
This change in the balance of power is the most compelling change in the nature of news gathering and dissemination process since the invention of the printing press, and it is pretty clear that the “old” press is struggling with commercial sustainability, whilst on the flip side, the views on the web need a greater level of skepticism than the Financial Review.
Freedom of the press, and freedom of speech are now pretty much the same thing in most places around the world, we just need to be careful about believing what we read.