We the Media 3

 As our class get’s closer to finishing up Dan Gillmor’s book “We the Media,” I am beginning to learn more than I ever knew about new media. In chapters 7, 8, and 9, Gillmor discusses topics such as Indymedia, online data gathering websites, and the new ways the media misleads the public.  Before reading Gillmor’s book I had never heard the term “Indymedia.” It was very interesting to read that Indymedia is an alternative kind of media which began in 1999 by a “group of antiglobalization activists who wanted to cover the Seattle World Trade Organization meeting in ways traditional media would not” (paperback copy, pg. 145). Incredibly, the effort of Indymedia has brought highly regarded results to the public. Wiki along with Indymedia is another term I was unfamiliar with until reading Gillmor’s book. A form of online data gathering is known as “The Wiki.” According to Gillmor “Wikipedia is one of the most fascinating developments of the Digital Age,” and absolutely understandable considering the millions of people that refer to wikipedia.com for credible information. I agree with Gillmor point regarding why Wikipedia is such a valuable resource to people. The articles within Wikipedia “tend to be neutral in tone [even] when the topic is controversial, [however Wikipedia] will explain the varying viewpoints in addition to offering the basic facts” (paperback copy, pg. 148). I believe Wikipedia is a website/database that is extremely user friendly and contains great information. Lastly, I found Gillmor’s discussion on misleading media to be the most fascinating. I always knew the media tried to manipulate its audience, but Gillmor explains why and how the trickery is actually done. “Backdrops of urban settings behind anchor people” are not the only ways in which media is misleading (paperback copy, pg. 178). “Spinning” is another process journalists have become accustomed to (paperback copy, pg. 184). Gillmor explains that PR firms use spinning often. Spinning is often directed at the audience in such a way that causes a change in perception to possibly “[favor] oneself or one’s client or cause” (paperback copy, pg. 184).  Gillmor constantly discusses new ideas for why new media has positive and negative effects on our world. I so far have learned a great deal from Dan Gillmor’s book and I look forward to continuing to become more knowledgeable about new media.

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