Making the News: Book Introduction (Draft)

In the 20th Century, making the news was almost entirely the province of journalists; the people we covered, or ?newsmakers?; and the legions of public-relations and marketing people who manipulated everyone. The economics of publishing and broadcasting created large, arrogant institutions — call it Big Media, though even small-town newspapers and broadcasters exhibit some of the phenomenon’s worst symptoms.

Big Media, in any event, treated the news as a lecture. We told you what the news was. You bought it, or you didn’t. You might write us a letter; we might print it. (If we were television and you complained, we ignored you entirely unless the complaint arrived on a libel lawyer’s letterhead.) Or you cancelled your subscription or stopped watching our shows. It was a world that bred complacency and arrogance on our part. It was a gravy train while it lasted, but it was unsustainable.

Tomorrow’s news reporting and production will be more of a
conversation, or a seminar. The lines will blur between producers and consumers, changing the role of both in ways we’re only beginning to grasp now. —Dan Gillmor
Making the News: Book Introduction (Draft)  (eJournal)

Gillmor has posted part of his forthcoming book, and is inviting comment. Today’s a heavy grading & teaching day for me, and I’ve already got a backlog… maybe I’ll come back to this later.