We must demand news sources that publish smaller papers on "slow news days". The front page should be blank nine days out of ten. Do you have time to read the paper every single day? I don't. But I have time to read it once a week. I would like to be able to say sometime each week, "I haven't read the news for nine days and I now have an hour to read the news", and have a place to go that serves me only the top n most important stories of the last nine days.
I would like the big WebLog s to rank not only comments but entire stories. I want to be able to choose to get the top ranked story in the last month from 100 websites every month, rather than spending time visiting SlashDot every few days. Ultimately if there is no filtering system, the filtering is done for me, in the form of me not visting most WebLogs that I like very often; the analogy of "dropped packets".
Certainly, any ranking or moderation system is subjective and populist and will be gamed and will tend to drive people into hearing only what they agree with (unless they take measures to hear more than that). But the alternative is to be content with allocating your scarce information/keeping up time according to what happens to be available when you happen to have time, alterately missing important developments and wasting time skimming unimportant ones.
We need to develop information systems that allow for a far higher degree of filtering. Peer to peer news-like networks for semi-automated, semi-moderated email forwards and web site recommendations between friends. NewsWikis that combine the Wiki virtue of LessRedundancy with moderation techniques such as RatingGroups, ViewPoint, and more. Political discussion sites that focus on providing a quick overview of issues to those without time to delve more deeply, and in which a newcomer to the issue can quickly tell whether a contentious issue is really contentious, or whether there is a consensus among most participants but a politically motivated attempt to confuse the issue.