A recent opinion article in the Wall Street Journal by Edward Kosner, the highly respected former editor of several prominent media properties, examined the current state of news and how it is affecting us. He contrasts the current 24/7 always-on news cycle against the traditional news cycle dominated by newspapers, radio and television news. His question: is today’s news cycle driving us insane?

Old school journalism helped people make sense of a chaotic world. Stringers delivered story ideas to editors, who then assigned fact checkers and reporters to refine these ideas or stories into a cohesive narrative that was vetted and organized.

With today’s news consumers turning as much to digital sources as traditional sources, the old methods of delivering news are changing. News is reported as it happens, with no opportunity to verify reports. The result is conflicting information and a news narrative that is constantly evolving.

As Kosner points out, this new delivery of the news provides unrefined, unreliable and contradictory coverage that can confuse and exasperate the audience. At the same time, access to this unrefined information allows the audience to draw their own conclusions and basically become their own editors, drawing their news feeds from the sources they like and trust.