Yes, there have always been local newscasters, but it took it's time to get information from the local level to the state level or even national level. You had to broadcast on your local station and hope one of the big boys sees it, or read your submission.
Nowadays with the web, broadcaster are not just on TV but live on the internet, watchable by anyone worldwide. Chris Christie's story has shown us how fast a traffic jam can become a national news story. Suddenly more and more reporters ask question and pick your story apart.
It is not as easy to cover things up anymore. You can't just tell a newspaper they are not allowed to print that story. News reporter gain more and more strength. Which is great in the sense of bringing out the truth, but also opens up the doors for abuse. Let's hope all reporters are aware of their strength and use it wisely and not for personal gain.