Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dan Gillmor writes new book about principles for news consumers

At the Blogboat event in Belgium citizen journalism expert Dan Gillmor spoke about a new book dealing with principles for news consumers, writes Dorien Aerts.

According to Gillmor, consumers should look at the news with skepticism and judgment. Moreover they should do research when something isn't clear or when they need a second opinion.

"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 the false news. Which makes them responsible as well, and not only the citizen journalist who wrote the article."

(When Googling, I found a lot of people blaming the citizen journalist who wrote the news (eg this one)).

The fourth principle mentioned by Gilmor is independence. He encourages news consumers to read stuff that challenges what they believe.

Last but not least Gillmor wants people to be aware of and recognize the techniques used by journalists to persuade them of something.

According to Gillmor, we are moving to the Daily Us (versus the Daily Me) or community driven news. Popularity and reputation will play the most important roles within that model.

"And whoever succeeds in combining those two, will be big".

This Daily Us will be driven by thouroughness, accuracy, fairness, independence and transparancy, "Principles every journalist agrees on."

In order to achieve this Daily Us, the participation of traditional media and the help of citizen journalists are needed, says Gillmor. But also parents and schools are of the utmost importance, in teaching children how to deal with news. "Children should know that Wikipedia is the best starting point, but the worst place to stop."


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