The problem with shortcuts is that they seldom produce good journalism. While I don't have a study to back it up, I strongly suspect that most people can tell the difference between the passionless words-strung-together by a machine or written-to-a-formula story and actual journalism. Yes, newspapers have cut their staffs way too far and they are offering way, way too little space for actual stories. But most consumers can tell the difference.
Yes, you don't need real reporters to write stories. But you need them to write good stories.