remember the 1952 Humphrey Bogart classic about the
newspaper industry and the role of the media as
watchdogs for the public. A recent book published by Dan
We The Media, talks
about the evolving phenomenon of consumer generated
media and the effect it is having on the role of big
media in today’s world.
didn’t see the movie, Bogie is a newspaper editor for a
publication that is going out of business (can you say
consolidation?) but has one last mission – to bring
about the apprehension of a mobster. The movie examines
the role of the media as a provider of truth and a
defender of the public good.
In We The
Media, Gillmor looks at the changing role of media
today. He decries the fact that the media is
consolidating into a monolithic entity, and sees the
emergence of consumer generated media as helping to
eliminate some of the corporate and governmental control
that is almost inevitable with a consolidated media.
examines the role of technology in this evolution,
including weblogs, email, Internet chat and cell phones.
His points are underscored in the real world when we
hear stories about grassroots groups that are not only
reporting, but also making news. A prime example was the
TxTMob phenomenon that
emerged in New York during the RNC convention. While
sending text messages to subscribers, the group directed
crowd movement, alerted protestors to police movements,
and provided on-the-scene reports to journalists that
were also subscribed to the messages.
provides insights into the new aspects of journalism and
even offers information that can help consumers
contribute to the news landscape. While he believes that
there is still a place for big media as a watchdog, he
concludes that it will need to adapt to the new
a recent interview Gillmor stated that PR professionals
must adapt to the new media culture as well, paying more
attention to influential bloggers and working with both
traditional and alternative media channels.