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November 27, 2005

New Journalism- We the Media

Chapter 1
“The day is frozen in time, but the explosions of airplanes into those buildings turned new heat on a media glacier, and the ice is still melting.”- Dan Gillmor

In Chapter One of We the Media, Dan Gillmor explains the path of journalism throughout time. Originally the public had to wait for journalists to report on happenings. Through getting news this way the public had little to do with news making, and the news being received was from certain points of view, although journalist try to provide unbiased reports. The chapter discusses how 9/11 influenced journalism, which is illustrated in the quote above.

Through weblogs the public was able to publish first hand accounts, photographs, and provide news rather than wait for the journalists. One person in particular was mentioned, Glenn Reynolds, for his weblog reports about 9/11. A few weeks prior to 9/11, Reynolds started Instapundit.com. When the planes hit the towers, Reynolds grew tired of watching it over and over again on the television, so he began blogging about the issues concerning 9/11. Gillmor states, “He [Reynolds] didn’t expect to develop a following, but that happened almost immediately.” Reynolds' blogs received instant comments from others who shared his feelings and also those who disagreed with him. Whether people disagreed or not, Reynolds provided a way for people to step away from Big Media and look at an individual grassroots journalist making news.

Chapter 2
New Technology

Aside from weblogs, Gillmor also mentions other new forms of technology that puts the role of newsmaker in the peoples’ hands.

Gillmor asks the question; “Can absolute editorial freedom result in anything but chaos?” He then goes on to say that Wiki shows it is possible. Wikis were invented by Ward Cunningham. On Wikis the content is made by anyone who wants to contribute. One example is the Wikipedia, which is an online encyclopedia. In the past I have used this many times for research, and I didn’t really know how it was set up. I thought it was created by a small group of compilers like any other reference book, but through this book and class I realized that the Wikipedia is a web compilation of information from many sources. People (pretty much anyone) can provide information on a topic and post it to the site, and also people can edit each other’s postings. There are certain guidelines, and if someone puts something on that would be offensive or completely false, it would be removed.

Mobile-Connected Cameras
Cameras are becoming a very common, easily accessible tool the public can use to provide news. Last night I was out with a group of friends and family, and all night flashes from cameras were going off everywhere because of camera phones. Many cellular phones have normal and video cameras. For this reason people are able to have the means to record events that are occurring. News stations often show the pictures people send, such as when a month ago we got a great deal of snow. I was watching the 6 o’clock news and they were showing pictures from all the surrounding areas taken by the public, to really show how much snow there was instead of just showing how much snow was expected. Snow accumulation is not the only thing people are reporting, for often times you will see home videos or photographs people got of car accidents, riots, etc. Also, once again much of the footage shown from 9/11 came from regular people who took pictures of what was happening or rolled their video cameras as they were running away.

New technologies are making it easier for people to make their own news.

Posted by JennaOBrocto at November 27, 2005 11:41 AM


Forget about news, did you know new technologies are also making it easier for people to make their own waffles? No, seriously, I read about it on

Posted by: Michael Dell at November 28, 2005 2:20 AM

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