One of the first mainstream journalists to have a blog, Gillmor says, "My readers know more than I do, and that's a good thing." He makes the case to his colleagues that, in the face of a plethora of Internet-fueled news vehicles, they must change or become irrelevant. We the Media is a book about people. People like Glenn Reynolds, a law professor whose blog postings on the intersection of technology and liberty garnered him enough readers and influence that he became a source for professional journalists. Or Ben Chandler, whose upset Congressional victory was fueled by contributions that came in response to ads on a handful of political blogs. Or Iraqi blogger Zayed, whose Healing Irag blog (healingiraq.blogspot.com) scooped Big Media. Or acridrabbit, who inspired an online community to become investigative reporters and discover that the dying Kaycee Nichols sad tale was a hoax. Give the people tools to make the news, We the Media asserts, and they will. Journalism in the 21st century will be fundamentally different from the Big Media that prevails today. We the Media casts light on the future of journalism, and invites us all to be part of it.
Dan Gillmor is a former technology columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, Silicon Valley’s daily newspaper. He also writes a daily Web-based column for SiliconValley.com, a KnightRidder.com site that is an online affiliate of the Mercury News. His column runs in many other U.S. newspapers, and he appears regularly on radio and television. He has been consistently listed by industry publications as among the most influential journalists in his field.
Gillmor joined the Mercury News in September 1994 after about six years with the Detroit Free Press. Before that, he was with the Kansas City Times and several newspapers in Vermont. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Vermont, Gillmor received a Herbert Davenport fellowship in 1982 for economics and business reporting at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. During the 1986-1987 academic year he was a journalism fellow at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he studied history, political theory and economics. He has won several state and regional journalism awards.
Gillmor has had a longstanding interest in technology. He studied programming in high school. He bought his first personal computer in the late 1970s and first went online in the early 1980s. Before becoming a journalist he played music professionally for seven years.
This presentation was recorded at Accelerating Change 2004, November 5-7, 2004. Check here for the complete Accelerating Change archives.
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