From a Wired interview with Stephen Mayes, director of VII Photo Agency talking about the debate about cell phone images-
Wired.com: Why do we worry then about image, about filter?
SM: It has happened many times in the industry before – we are trying to carve out relevance for our profession. We’ve dedicated our lives to learning skills and things we believe. Suddenly, we’re wondering if they relevant any more and trying to justify and rationalize.
Should people pay journalists and photojournalists to do what they do? As long as someone wants credible information the role of the professional remains important, but the role changes in that professionals are no longer the eyewitness. Think of all those "photography compilation" books in the 20th century which were called “eye witness” or “the eyes of the world” or something similar. That’s no longer relevant when there are 4 billion cell phone eyes out there.