Technically, they don't do it for me, exactly. They do it for the internet. But it works out to the same thing. And I'm apparently not unusual in my preference - it seems that now people under 30 get more of their news from the internet then from tv.
It's not that I think crowd-sourced reporting can replace 'real' news, but it does have advantages. For one, it's fast. A story someone sees first-hand can be reblogged or twitted or tumbled or facebook shared, and I'll see it on my feed while official news outlets are just realizing something newsworthy has happened. Of course, part of that is because the official news has to do pesky things like 'conformation.' (Usually. Premature reports of Joe Paterno's death went from a student news twitter to the mainstream sites within minutes, before anyone thought to double-check.) People in large groups can be brilliant, or they can be idiots.
And there are times I want the experts, not an average, everyday view. There are times I want detailed investigative reporting and moving writing, not 140 character updates. But I'm more likely to find them when I'm on a 'social networking' then I am when I'm actually looking for news. I can follow cnn.com, my local newspaper's site, and maybe a few more - if I can stand scrolling through yet another article on what we've learned from this year's superbowl commercials - but I can't read everything. Luckily, I don't have to. I won't miss a good story as long as I know someone who read it, and thought it was interesting enough to share.
And it lets me see news from as many angles as I want. I like news commentary, but it usually runs the risk of giving a one-sided view. Now I don't have to watch one version of a political speech on CNN and wait for the hosts to give me their analysis later, because I can pick my own commentators and see the speech being liveblogged while I debate their observations in the comment section.
I care more when news a social activity, instead of something that is just on in the background. And when there seems to be little going on in the world that isn't bad, I need all the help I can get.
(I started thinking about this after I listened to A NPR interview with the author of a book on twitter. I saw it through a link on facebook.)