This weekend I finished Dan Gillmor’s book We The Media. As I promised before I would give my opinion about it.
Gillmor writes passionately about journalism and the internet. We The Media starts off promising with accurate descriptions about these two subjects. It amused me to read such a recent book with examples that haven’t been used over and over in other writings.
In the first chapters Gillmore offers some interesting insights about the Big Media and their practise of journalism. He states that journalism in the age of weblogs is all about conversation instead of one-way communication. I’m happy to see that at least one (former) journalist gets it.
Gillmor however decays in the latter part of We The Media in almost hysterical warnings against the power of the traditional big companies on content and delivery. Gillmor outlines a society in wich all media are controlled by the old en new Big Media. The enthusiastic writing of the first part becomes a depressive one. I can understand that there are certain concerning developments on this subject, but I think Gillmor overreacts in this scenario. Think about the huge rise of Open Source Software; initiatives like Linux, Firefox and Emule demonstrate that individuals can co-operate in order to counter these Big Media.
Nevertheless We The Media is an amusing and insightful book on the relation between journalism and new media and their shared future.
We The Media is licensed onder a Creative Commons License and can be downloaded for free at http://wethemedia.oreilly.com/.