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Following up on my post from yesterday about the evolution of content online, here’s a quote from Associated Press CEO Tom Curley during his speech at the Seoul Digital Forum Thursday:

“As we consider the digital future though, let’s be very clear about one thing: Technology may change how journalists work, but it has never changed what journalists do.”

Just what is it that journalists do, exactly? Other than your favorite punchlines, here’s his answer:

“Speaking truth to power or acting as the watchdog of the powerful is one of journalism’s enduring values.”

I would argue, however, that these “enduring values” are not the exclusive domain of journalists but rather our civic duty as citizens and consumers. Anyone who has experienced bad customer service is more than happy to “speak truth to power” to get a refund, exchange, or just tell their friends not to use that service. The key difference, obviously, is that journalists traditionally have had exclusive access to megaphones (print or broadcast) loud enough to share their message.

With Technorati’s estimate that there are now 82.6 million blogs online, there are a whole lot of megaphones out there. Curley didn’t answer the question of how they deal with that, and ironically the AP writer covering his speech didn’t ask…