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November 29, 2005

Final Thoughts on We the Media

Chapter 11
I really enjoyed reading this book. I did not totally agree with everything Gillmor said, but I believe he provided a great deal of helpful information and also included comprehensive examples to support his claims. I also respect that in the concluding chapter he uses the word "persuade" many times, which shows he is admitting that he does have some biased feelings on journalism. Below I have some thoughts on issues covered in the final two chapters of We the Media.

In Chapter 11 Gillmor discusses cookies, which make it possible for an owner of a computer to look at sites that have been visited. Gillmor feels this is a form of surveillance, but he also argues it can also be beneficial such as saving time for a user. They can simply scroll down and click on a site they visit frequently. I also think another benefit is that parents are able to monitor what sites their children have been on. I have two nephews who are 7 and 10. My sister tries to always watch them, but it would be impossible to know everything they do. Both of them know how to use a computer and get on the Internet. Cookies make it possible for parents to see where their children have been, which I think is good. Many times on the news I have heard where adults lure young children away from home, after talking on the Internet. If parents are aware of the sites their children visit, maybe these tragic situations can be avoided.

"Fair use"
I think Gillmor brings up an interesting point about copyright and fair use. Gillmor states, "But the forces of control have moved the line. They believe fair use is something that can be granted only by the copyright holder if he or she is willing to grant fair use." This statement illustrates that some believe a writer should have concrete permission if they want to quote from someone else's work. One problem I see with this is when someone is writing a persuasive argument. A good argument should give both sides. If I am trying to prove something wrong, and want to use something someone has said and in turn dispute it, they may not be willing to let me quote something they have written. Is that fair?

Below I have included links to different, recent copyright cases. I thought it would be interesting to see examples of the issue Gillmor is addressing. How do you think Gillmor would react to the following copyright cases?
Simon Fuller- Fuller is claiming someone stole the format for his show.

Thomas Friedman Book- A dispute of whether or not permission was granted to include a picture on the front of his book.

George Orwell/ 1984- I thought this was really interesting. The Orwell estate is suing the British Government, for policies that resemble the ones created by Orwell for 1984.

Chapter 12
"My goal in this book has been to persuade you that the collision of journalism and technology is having major consequences for three constituencies: journalists, newsmakers, and the audience."

If the argument above is the purpose Gillmor wrote We the Media, I believe he succeeded. Through reading this book I now realize the shift in the structure of news. Through blogs, forums, camera-phones, more access to computers, etc., the audience can now play the role of newsmaker. When you write on a blog you are providing information that other people can see. On 9/11 when non-journalist people posted pictures and stories on the Internet, they were helping the rest of the nation by providing up to date news of what was happening. Through blogs, we the audience, no longer have to wait for Big Media, and have in turn become "we the media."

Posted by JennaOBrocto at November 29, 2005 11:15 PM


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