I know from my personal perspective I probably read more now that I did before the internet. But is the quality of what I read any better, probably not.
I don't want this commentary to become an argument over politics, but the current political campaigns are good example of how the internet "news" has become as much noise as it news. It has created a new sense of reality.
The name calling and childish behavior by supporters of both candidates is amazing. It does not matter which candidate you say you support, someone will call you a childish name for supporting them. "Why are all the (insert name of the candidate you hate here) supporters so (insert negative attribute of person here)."
I dislike the mainstream news articles that allow comments. Every news event becomes a political debate. It always seems to turn into a matter of how the victim could be so stupid, they must be a (member of whatever political party you hate).
The above three paragraphs were the introduction to my answer on an online forum of the question, "What effect has the internet had on what it means to be an informed citizen?" I concluded the answer with my analogy of the internet as a mirror.
The internet is a collection of wires, silicon, and copper, it has no soul, it has no mind of its own. The internet doesn't take sides, it gives birth to both good and evil. The internet is our collective mind, it is our collective soul. The internet is just a mirror, a reflection of the people who use it, and together we have the responsibility to focus and form that reflection.
If you don't like what you see when you look into a mirror, what do you do? Some people break the mirror, others change what's being reflected.