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We the Media: Introduction

The introduction to Dan Gillmor's book We the Media, really got me excited about reading this book. I think I am going to like it a lot better then It Ain't Necessarily So. Gillmor first made the point that news and history often transcend time through memories as well as documentation. He made reference to the events of September 11th, 2001 (9-11) and this struck a particular cord with me. I can vivdly remember where I was at that point in history. I was a sophomore in high-school and we learned about the tragedy 15 minutes into my Introductory Computer Science class. I was in utter shock and disbelief. Gillmor continues to talk about 9-11 saying that for the first time the first draft of history was being re-written in part by it's former audience because so many of the people that wittnessed 9-11 reported on it.

Gillmor goes on again to mention 9-11 and it's imapct more in Chapter 1. The next big point Gillmor makes in this chapter is about Joe Nacchio, the former CEO of Qwest and a story that broke about him. While Gillmor was covering a press conference held by Nacchio there was a tip via e-mail given to him online about Nacchio cashing in $200 million worth of stocks. He then quickly blogged about it during the conference and the news spread like wild-fire to the other people in attendance that were online as well. The event became Nacchio standing in front of a firing squad and an uproar was caused. This was considered an evolutionary change in news flow because of the use of online means of communication.

Things like Gillmor's experience with Nacchio are very intriguing to me. Though using blogs and e-mail are common place to most of us, (I don't mean to make a generalization, but if you are reading this entry then you are computer savy enough to know what I am talking about)this revolution did not happen all that long ago. I also liked the point Gillmor made that the old means of reporting simply became unsuitable after the 20th century and now the audience has become more active in news writing. Journalism in general has taken an evolutionary turn from lecture to conversation and the groups of journalists, newsmakers and the former audience have all meshed together.

Apparently the biggest enemy for journalism in general is the idea of CORPORATE JOURNALISM which dominates the field today. The lines have become blurred betweenreporting and money making these days. Big Media, which includes TV and print journalism has also been bad for the field as a whole because it often promotes the idea of cutting the quality of journalism. Because papers make only small revenue from circulation they must rely on advertisments for 95% of their income. Though it is not likely, Gillmor jokes that if we keep up at this rate NEWS ANARCHY could ensue.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 14, 2005 8:40 PM.

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