September 22nd, 2008

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       Chapters 1 and 2 of “We the Media,” by Dan Gillmor tracked the recent development of journalistic styles of technology.  It was so very interesting to read a book written four years ago and see how much has changed with day-to-day technology.  The idea that the new era of journalism began after Sept. 11, 2001 is so interesting because it truly opened up the world of online journalism to the whole country at a time when everyone was seeking news. 
       Blogging has developed greatly over the past seven years and currently is used for reporters as well as citizen journalists to discuss news and issues.  It was incredible to see how many bloggers there were in Denver alone during the Democratic National Convention.  There was an entire media tent devoted to these bloggers.  Which leads one to wonder why someone would prefer to read a blog rather than a news report.
       Gilmor writes, “What the best individual blogs tend to have in common is voice – they are clearly written by human beings with genuine human passion.” (29). 
       This is true of most of the blogs I’ve read, they have a voice and an opinion, giving their own personal perspective, however I often wonder if there is too much opinion in the news lately and not enough solid journalism that reports the straight facts.   
       But there are many other new facets to journalism besides the “blogosphere,” including the of role cellular phones.  It is incredible how SMS has become the new main form of communication. You can receive news headlines, emergency notifications, and any other type of alert one may need. Camera phones have also helped with photojournalism.  One of Denver’s main newspapers, The Rocky Mountain News provided their entire staff with cell phones that have a camera and video camera so that if they are out and about and something newsworthy occurs they can capture it and publish it on the Internet.
       These tools are transforming journalism, making everything faster, but also leaving more room for error.  This new technology is developing so quickly it is guaranteed to have a large effect on the election process and the campaigns as well as how soon we will find out the results of the elections, which for many will likely be via SMS. 

Grassroots Journalism and Technology

In elementary school, I would type up 'papers' on the computer and print them out, pasting in images from National Geographic or other media afterwards.
In middle school, I would arrive home at 3 p.m. and start instant messaging my friends almost immediately.
In high school, I would text message my friends all the time, learned how to build web pages and did every assignment on the computer, heavily utilizing the options that Google provided.
You see, I (and my generation) grew up with these technological advances. They weren’t new-fangled, crazy, hard-to-use inventions for us. They were just part of our lives.
As a result, when I read the first two chapters of "We the Media," which outline how technology has moved journalism forward and created a new form, called personal journalism (such as blogging), I was taken aback. Sure, I knew that the Internet, in particular, had a huge impact on the world, but I never realized the specific impacts on people and on the field of journalism.
Author Dan Gillmor wrote that personal technology "was about the creation of media in new and, crucially, less expensive ways" (9).
For instance, the creation of desktop publishing allowed anyone to do layout and publish material. One effect of this was the increased presence of the ethnic press, according to Gillmor.
This fact, along with numerous other statements throughout the two chapters, made me truly realize the impact that the Internet has had on so many people and, in particular, journalism.
Today, journalism is no longer just about reading the news; it's about options. People have hundreds of choices to make. The Internet has added greatly to this list of options, which allows people to choose where they go to read the news and who and how they receive it. It also, however, increases competition between news agencies that want to be responsible for breaking the news. What is the effect of this on news quality? Does it negatively affect the news judgment of editors and reporters who want to get a story out and maybe don't spend as much time fact-checking?
Those could be some serious repercussions if the media continue to move forward technologically without maintaining the historic standards of what journalism is.

Chapters 1 and 2

In chapters 1 and 2 of "We the Media" the main focus was on how journalism has changed over the years. There are many interesting facts in the opening parts o this book. The idea that online journaling started after September 11th is just shocking to me. There have been so many advances in journalism just in the past 10 years. I knew the internet had a major impact on journalism, but this book puts it all into perspective. Having grown up in the digital age, I am knowledgable of what has changed just during my life, however I was not aware about how much of an advance it was over what we had before. The blogging age has now gone into full swing, and seems to have advanced more in the past 5 years than it had since it first began. It seems like more and more people have something to say and now there is a way that everyone can get their word out there.
This book seems to have a firm grip on where the world was about 4 years ago and it is even more interesting seeing where the world has come since then. The book, being on the older side, has its advantages of taking a picture of where we were then and seeing where we are now. The only disadvantage is that it is not updated to how it all is now.

We the Media

 The first two chapters in the textbook do a great job of illustrating the way in which technology has changed.  Newspaper's used to be the primary source where the public would find most of their useful news/information but has drastically changed since the invention of the internet.  The internet completely changes the way in which people find out about news, timeliness of stories, and also influences who people are able to get information from.  Essentially, the most intriguing fact about the internet is that we get to interact with each other, learn information from our peers or scholars, and have the opportunity to voice our own opinions.  

Dan Gillmor hits the nail right on the head when he says, "The spreading of an item of news, or of something much larger, will occur-much more so than today-without any help from mass media as we know it."  The internet has given us all the power to be journalists and let the world know what we think.  Additionally, blogs have changed the ways in which we are able to communicate with others.  Whether we are talking with our friends, classmates, people across the country, or even people out of this country, blogs make it possible for us all to connect and converse.  The class website is just one of the many ways that people from different locations, backgrounds, and ways of thinking can come together and compare their thoughts.   Also with the use of video, pictures, and live webcams, it has become even easier to find out new information and get a better visual picture of what you are learning about, making things much easier to interpret.  The internet has truly started a new revolution and has changed the way that we will interact and learn from people forever.   

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To begin to explore the revelations of new media a further examination of its history of it must be considered. A man named Thomas Paine wrote words which affected people during the 18th century. These writings encouraged people to make a statement. Since then multiple media revolutions have occurred in America’s history. During the 1800s a workable postal system was created, allowing a voice to reach out to numbers. This formed into a new mass media such as newspapers. By the 20th centaury a strong sense of the corporate era erupted. Issues dealing with monopolies rose concerned with the press and who was controlling it. What was and was not being let out to the public became a main subject. In addition talk radio was becoming an effective tool for expression. Before this medium, regular citizens were at loss for voicing their own speech, and then along came the web. During the 1990’s is when people began to own their own personal computers and transferred into a highway of information and communication. This was pivotal point in America’s history and created the ability for anyone to be a journalist.

As the internet has expanded over the last 15 or so years e-mails lists, forums, and newsgroups have also. As the Web became more useable it eventually turned into a fabulous news source. One phenomenon which occurred due to the internet was the capability of using one medium for both many-to-many and few-to-few communications. “The internet, in particular, is becoming the environment in which the new tools function, an ecosystem that is gaining strength from diversity” (p27) More and more roles were being created for the internet as time passed, weblogs, Wiki, SMS, video streaming, RSS, are all forms of communicating attributed to the growth of the Web. Due to this access any human being is able to post their views and ideas to anyone and everyone. Moreover it is anyone’s guess to what is to come in the digital world and what pros and cons it may bring.
  • noidion

We the Media Ch. 1-2  

    In Dan Gillmor’s “We the Media” he openly discusses how the world of journalism is changing and transforming in new ways that decades ago would not have been imaginable. He begins by tracing the way journalism has progressed from the late 18th century until a little less than four years ago. Gillmor talks about how one of the greatest tools for journalism was the inclusion of the American right, the “freedom of the press,” outlined in the Bill of Rights. From then on the inventions that helped forge American journalism is and has been technology.
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Interesting internet tools and blogs Gillmor mentions (except youtube)

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We the Media

The first two chapters of We the Media introduced me to useful, journalistic applications of technology which I have taken for granted. I have respected blogs because I have always viewed them either as editorials attempting to masquerade as real news or as a medium to facilitate exhibitionism. While blogs are often both of these things they also reflect the interests and concerns of ordinary people, the consumers of media. Furthermore, as Gillmor points out, “people formerly called the audience are now participants.” Like call in radio shows, the read-write web makes it easier for ordinary individuals to provide information to others.

            Nonetheless, I feel as though a lot of information on the read-write web lacks credibility. Although I now understand that I can learn a lot from experienced and intelligent bloggers, I will continue to rely on corporate media outlets for most information because I trust that the editors and journalists at these organizations have integrity. That’s not to say that I am not disappointed with a lot of the news coverage I see or that my trust may be displaced. Gillmor points out that many news outlets bank on the idea that “if it bleeds it leads,” and fail to cover stories on other important issues.

            The technological advances discussed in the first chapter which have enabled individuals to become more than consumers of media could be the solution to the problems associated with the corporate model. I agree with Gillmor that current trends, such as blogging, should not be confused with journalism but to disregard their importance and value would be foolish because they are a reflection of the culture. As the first two chapters clearly demonstrate, my success in this field depends to a large degree upon my ability to better understand the culture—what media consumers want—by making better use of available technology.

We the Media. Chapters 1 & 2

          Related site... Pandora Radio

     The first couple of chapters in Dan Gillmor's We The Media discuss the evolving world of journalism and more specifically online journalism. He dates back to the time of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, praising them for their involvement and efforts with the media. Throughout the rest of the chapter, Gillmor goes on to explain the different stages of internet usage and journalism. Between Usenet at Michigan and the first platform of Desktop Publishing, we can see that the growth in technology has lead to a massive expansion in the field of journalism. Being a journalist is all about getting the best story before anyone else does. So with the aid of the internet, journalist could be recieveing their news at lighting speeds compared to the old school method.
     It was not until the unfortunate events of 9/11 that we really saw the internets potential for world wide journalism. The day that the attacks happened, there were astonishing numbers of "9/11" searches on the web. This really gave its users and creators a sense of how accesible this technology needs to be for the public. There is so much information out there that people are expecting to be able to get at the touch of a mouse that the demand is almost as high as air and water.
     The internet as we know it is now its its Web 2.0 phase. This phase has completely publicized the world wide web. It's no longer a large online brochure to be looked at, but a giant network made up of people all over the world sharing stuff with each other. Everything from pictures, to music, to favorite websites, and on and on. There is no end as to what someone in Los Angeles could be doing with someone in Moscow, Russia. The internet gives us the opportunity to live life without borders and for us to be the creator of our own worlds, online worlds. 

      The related site that I have attached above is Pandora Radio. A perfect example of p2p sharing on the internet and some of its capabilitties. It is a website designed for you to create your own radio stations based on your favorite artists. Once you have done so, Pandora then sets out to find more music similar to your favorite that you may like. It does this based on beats, tempo, guitar rhythms, melodic singers, heavy bass, etc. By other people choosing music and sharing music online, it grabs ideas from those users and and spits them at you to see if you like it. If so, you give the song a thumbs up and Pandora remembers that, if not, you give it a thumbs down, and Pandora will still remember that.