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We the People & Media

June 18, 2008

The main point of Dan Gillmor’s book “We the Media” is that the Internet is revolutionizing the way news and information are generated and perceived today. The author holds that the convergence of journalism and technology has greatly impacted the key stakeholders in this process – journalists, news makers and audiences. The Web has turned the tables around in terms of authority of information. The title of the book plays around with the “We the People” phrase to wake us up to the fact that technology allows everyone to be published and read nowadays.

The world of communication is no longer hierarchical. It ceased to be top-down. It is participatory. It is transparent. It is the actual marketplace of ideas in practice. If we perceive the news as projections of our shared reality, then, according to Gillmore’s insight, each of us can influence our common truth by actively participating and generating information with the help of web technologies.

At the core of the transformation, Dan Gillmore talks about in his book, is the fact that currently the “former audience” has the most critical role. It possesses the same tools and can achieve huge exposure just like professional journalists. He convinces the reader that we should  realize that the voice of each one of us is important and that, in order to make the best out of the current “explosion of conversations” everyone should take the challenge to embrace the new tools, be an active participant and content contributor.

Gillmore recognizes the rising issue of credibility all of this brings about, but is somehow confident that the public with the help of professional media “can sort it all out”. Thus, he does not dismiss the role of professional/traditional news media in the future. He calls upon them, however, to acknowledge the new media revolution and high quality grassroots journalism.

I particularly like Gillmore’s implication that, clearly, in the digital age citizens can and should DEMAND MORE (from news makers) and PUT UP WITH LESS (from politicians).

Sounds like pure democracy, doesn’t it!?

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