A survey published yesterday by the Pew Research Center (http://people-press.org) shows that 95% of all stories with "new information" published online and offline are still generated by traditional media, eg newspapers.
Interestingly, this research is based on stories generated over six weeks in the region of Baltimore / USA. This city is home of one of the most respected American newspapers, the Baltimore Sun - one of many struggling traditional American media outlets.
The survey evaluated six news threads. 83% of all stories did not contain any new information, but were simply repetitive. Nearly all of the remaining 17% (containing new information) were coming from traditional media.
I find a lot of reference to the fact that many of these stories were local. Blogger Jeff Jarvis is even quoted saying that it is "obvious, that local news generation in the internet is still at its beginning" (NB - my translation of a German quote: http://meedia.de/nc/details/article/zeitungen-setzen-die-themen---immer-noch_100025577.html).
Now that I find really strange. I would have thought that social media are exceptionally strong locally. How should one be able to find global or national news and be the first to transmit them over Twitter or one's blog? If anything I would have thought that what you find MUST be local - at least initially.
Obviously this all does not mean you can neglect what is being published in social media or on the web. Quite the contrary, you should monitor what is being said there. Very often there might be an opportunity or a risk for you or your company that you can spot early boy social media monitoring.
But we seem to be farther away from the stage where the internet is really replacing the job of traditional media: generating relevant news.
In short, the web often breaks the news - but the traditional media are still making them relevant.