A Web site and Weblog About Topics and Issues Discussed in the Book We the Media by Dan Gillmor

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October 10, 2004

Italian TV Hires Blogger

More here.

Posted by Dan Gillmor at 07:50 PM | Comments (0)

More Phony 'News' from Bush Administration

  • AP: Bush Ad Surfaces As News Story on Schools. The Bush administration has promoted its education law with a video that comes across as a news story but fails to make clear the reporter involved was paid with taxpayer money. The government used a similar approach this year in promoting the new Medicare law and drew a rebuke from the investigative arm of Congress, which found the videos amounted to propaganda in violation of federal law.
  • You expect this kind of sleazy stuff from the White House. But the people who deserve even more condemnation are any TV stations that run these press releases in news programs without making clear what they're doing.

    Posted by Dan Gillmor at 06:51 PM | Comments (0)

    More on the Indymedia Disk Seizure

    The Register has some thoughtful speculation about the seizure of some Indymedia servers last week, an incident that should put real worry into any Web publisher. As the Register observes:

    It is clearly perfectly possible for their operations to be crippled without warning, without their being told what it is they've done, and without explanation. Depending on whether the authorities (under the international MLAT regime this could be many, many authorities) want something you've got or just want to stop you doing something, the crippling could be pretty extensive and pretty long term. If they want you to stop doing something then they'll quite likely want your backups as well, and if you've no servers, no backups, and no idea when/if you're getting them back, two photos is going to be the least of your worries.

    Posted by Dan Gillmor at 06:22 PM | Comments (0)

    Howard Stern, Satellite Radio and Freedom

  • Reuters: Howard Stern to broadcast on Sirius Radio in 2006. Howard Stern, one of the most popular U.S. radio personalities, on Wednesday said he will broadcast his show on Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. beginning in 2006, after being dropped earlier this year from several stations that objected to his often off-color humor.

    How big is this news? It's huge.

    I don't care for Stern's crude humor, but I care a lot for his free-speech rights. And with luck, his move represents the beginning of the end for the traditional radio oligopoly, and the end of the beginnining for the alternatives that one day will make the Clear Channels of this world irrelevant.

    With luck, it'll also be the end of the FCC's congressionally mandated war on "indecency," which has turned into a war on common sense and free speech. But now watch Congress move to censor satellite, too. If they succeed, then the First Amendment will die once and for all. Let's not let them.

    UPDATE: I don't want to suggest that satellite radio is the only answer to the current system. Podcasting, the MP3-delivery method that Dave Winer, Adam Curry and others are creating these days, is another smart response.

    It looks to me as though the solution will be found both above (satellite) and below (podcasting) the current, rigged marketplace that Clear Channel and its compatriots have so thoroughly ruined. There's plenty of room for both.

    Posted by Dan Gillmor at 06:21 PM | Comments (0)

    New Mercury News Blog

    My colleague at the Mercury News, pop music critic Marian Liu, has launched a new blog -- "Backstage with Marian" -- that I predict will attract lots of readers and commenters.

    Posted by Dan Gillmor at 06:21 PM | Comments (0)

    Chilling Speech: Where Are Big Media?

  • Sydney Morning Herald: FBI seizes Indymedia servers. The FBI has issued an order to hosting provider Rackspace in the US, ordering it to turn over two of the servers hosting the Independent Media Centre's websites in the UK, a statement from the group says. Rackspace has offices in the US and the UK. Independent Media Center, which is better known as Indymedia, was set up in 1999 to provide grassroots coverage of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) protests in Seattle. Rackspace complied with the FBI order, without first notifying Indymedia, and turned over Indymedia's server in the UK. This affects over 20 Indymedia sites worldwide, the group said.
  • If this had happened to a "mainstream" U.S. news organization, the wires would be melting with the news.

    Indymedia isn't always my cup of tea from a journalistic standpoint. But this seizure has the smell of intimidation, not law enforcement. I hope journalists closer to the scenes in the U.S. and U.K. are jumping on this story.

    Posted by Dan Gillmor at 06:21 PM | Comments (0)

    Discussion of Book and Grassroots Journalism

    The Well, the venerable online community, just launched a discussion about We the Media. Feel free to drop by for a visit.

    Posted by Dan Gillmor at 06:19 PM | Comments (0)

    October 05, 2004

    Evan Leaves Bloogle

    Evan Williams, a co-founder of Pyra Labs, the blogging outfit that became part of Google, is leaving. He says it's all amicable and I don't see any reason to question that. He's a pioneer, and he's still young; we'll be hearing more from him, and I'm sure it'll be interesting.

    Posted by Dan Gillmor at 06:03 AM | Comments (0)

    October 02, 2004

    Reminder: Speaking Monday Evening in San Jose

    I'll be doing a Commonwealth Club talk Monday evening in San Jose, at the new public library. Topic: "The Emergence of Grassroots Journalism" -- and it's free and open to the public. It's also sponsored by the Journalism & Mass Communications Department at San Jose State University.

    Posted by Dan Gillmor at 05:07 PM | Comments (0)

    More Reviews

    Latest reviews of We the Media:

  • Elizabeth Corcoran at Forbes says it "offers a panoramic account of the technologies and issues shaping the future of news."
  • It's behind the paid firewall, but the Wall Street Journal published a mostly tepid review by a graduate student who writes, among other things: "It is clear that Mr. Gillmor doesn't like media consolidation, abhors the idea of "gatekeepers" and wishes people would rise up en masse to create a more freewheeling Internet-enabled journalism. Of course it's already happening, as he concedes." Concedes? I thought I celebrate the rise of the new voices. Oh, well.
  • At The Techzone.com, public relations pro Andy Marken writes that the book "discusses (and explains in words the technically challenged can understand) today’s new media, the state of information dissemination and technology and what is just over the horizon."

    Posted by Dan Gillmor at 05:06 PM | Comments (0)


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