Citizen Media Watch

november 20th, 2008

Dan Gillmor's new book – a guide for news consumers

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Dan GillmorWho can we trust in an age when anyone can be a journalist? How do we know? As citizen journalism has taken quite a bit of beef lately, especially after the Steve Jobs supposed heart attack debacle, Dan Gillmor‘s new book project couldn’t come at a better time.
He is writing a book to educate not the citizen journalists, but the readers/viewers/users of news, he revealed at the Blogboat event in Belgium. He thinks readers should not just accept what’s written as the truth. They need to do research.
– That’s exactly what the people who sold their stocks after hearing that Steve Jobs had a heart attack, didn’t do. It was their stupidity to immediately believe that false news. Which makes them responsible as well, and not only the citizen journalist who wrote the article, he said, according to the blog Theicecreamdebate.
He also listed these five principles for news consumers:

  • scepticism
  • judgement
  • research
  • independence
  • recognize persuasion techniques

In a recent interview at DigitalJournal, Dan Gillmor said:
– We’ve all been consuming news in different ways since the Net came along. We are good at deciding what we trust and what we can’t trust. Everyone needs to learn to be skeptical of absolutely everything. That includes the local or national paper or TV broadcast.
– At same time, people need to go outside what they normally read and look for things that challenge their worldviews. They need to learn media techniques, including how the media is used to persuade the public.

Update: I just remembered that Dan Gillmor actually mentioned his new book project when he spoke to a bunch of people at Aftonbladet in early 2007. Here’s a sound clip. Pardon the bad quality.


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