I see the failings of the media as pretty different from the way that most people have articulated them here. To me it's the fact that the populace fails as a whole to think critically and likes simple answers to complicated questions that results in a largely inept media which isn't trying to educate the public on a lot of issues (because the public largely prefers simply being fed information that confirms their worldview over actually learning unbiased things).
Take the fact that the media covers murder and rape more than hacking. I'd say they do this because the morality behind those crimes is incredibly obvious, the people who did them are easier to identify, their motives are generally pretty basic, the methods behind how the crime actually took place are easy to understand, and the information is seemingly relevant to the life of an everyday person who doesn't want to get murdered. Hacking however, is full of moral grays in many issues, involves technology that most people can't grasp, for reasons that they can't relate to (such as the software and hardware freedom movements), and all too often the end result actually benefits the populace or only hurts corporations (which people are biased against today). Look at the one kind of high-tech/information crime people are actually aware of: identity theft. They are because the media paints a very simplistic picture of what it is, why it exists, and what the motives behind it are; they've brought it to a level that people can relate to.
The biggest problem in the media today is that the idea of covering both sides on the basis of fairness or balance utterly fails to do what it is intended to. Yes, on a lot of issues (such as ones related to political ideology) asking the two sides of an issue for input is a good way to inform people, but there are other issues where doing so gives people a false view of how contested a subject is. False balance can make an issue seem unsettled when in fact it is quite settled in reality and the "expert" for the other side is a stark-raving lunatic from an unbiased point of view. The media's coverage of science versus pseudoscience, for example, utterly fails to give viewers an appropriate look at how completely implausible the claims made by the other side are. Yet this practice benefits the business side of media by allowing them to present news and information like an ink blot: because both sides are prevented people can exercise their impartiality and view the argument in such a way that whichever side they wish to "win" will due to confirmation bias.
"Fairness" is presenting evidence without tampering with it in order to make it seem like either side is more supported by fact than it is. Fairness is not giving equal time and plausibility to both sides and letting the viewer toss a coin on which opinion to go with. All opinions are not created equal; some have research and fact backing them up, others are crackpot theories. Hearsay and pure conjecture should never be the basis of reporting, or you reduce media to the rumor mill, which is exactly what many news outlets have reduced themselves to by being completely incredulous in their reporting.
There's a real reason why newspapers are going by the wayside in my opinion, and it's the same one that NPR and PBS suffer low viewership and few people watch Charlie Rose. They're part of the old-guard of media that actually believed in trying to give people access to information as accurately as possible (minus their editorial sections, of course, but at least they were honest about what was biased and wasn't with clear labeling unlike cable news), and nothing else. There are still organizations out there that attempt to communicate "the truth" which aren't part of the old-guard, but I don't think they employ the same level of rigor and self-discipline that old media did.
There's another thread around here somewhere I made full of comments from Ted Koppel, I suggest checking it out.
EDIT: Here's the link: http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=89577.0