Sexy job of the future: the almighty fact-checker

Monday night, Air America CEO Bennett Zier led a panel with two media bigwigs and polar opposites: Craig Newmark, the laid-back founder of Craigslist, a self-proclaimed nerd who launched CL, "without a plan," in San Francisco, and Michael Wolff, an officer in the sorority of New York media lust, columnist for Vanity Fair, and founder of news aggregate site, Newser.com. The talk was on the future of media and whether one day all of it (namely the news) will be free.

Out of all the talk and hyperbole dished by Wolff, on how newspapers will cease to exist in 18-months, one thing stood out: ode to the mighty fact-checker. Craig (I refuse to refer to him by his last name -- he gave us Craigslist!) said he would pay for fact-checkers, so yes, he would continue to pay for his news, as long as it's fact-checked. His answer resonates with this growing fear that, with newspapers slowly disappearing, we might have to, God forbid, rely on the blogosphere for information, and the strict standards of the fact-checking department will be gone.