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We The Media (Chapter 1-6)

Chapter 1: From Tom Paine to Blogs and Beyond 

Although the idea of online journalism and blogs is just coming to the forefront of American journalism, the ideas are rooted in this country’s past. Early journalism was littered with personal opinions and thoughts, yellow journalism was used to spread sensational news, and pamphlets were written to spread personal thoughts. The creation of talk radio started a conversation with the listeners, and the internet, along with blogs and chat rooms are continuing that conversation. When Dave Winer created the first blog layout he created a medium where everyone with access to a computer had a chance to write the news.

Chapter 2: The Read-Write Web

 The internet opens up a communication of “many-to-many” instead of “one-to-many” that tradition forms of journalism give. Mailing lists are one of the tools of the internet that help give journalists an early heads up or an inside track on a subject. Blogs are another tool that make it easier for anyone to publish news on the web. Although Wiki’s are not a major tool for journalists yet, they still are an open collaboration of readers inputs and could one day prove important. SMS or text messages are considered the “headlines” of the web world, while web-cam and video phones act at the photographs that usually shape newspapers. The internet is still developing however to make itself a more efficient news source by creating new gadgets, one of those being the RSS feed.

Chapter 3: The Gates Come Down

The creation of an online websites has opened up new problems for politicians, major corporations and everyone in between. Politician’s remarks can explode on the internet, creating mass attention, even if tradition media outlets aren’t highlighting it. Similarly, major corporations can be called out for wrong advertising or bad behavior by online consumers or haters. The internet has also opened up the gates of the spreading of unauthorized information that companies, governments or individuals want to keep quiet. The same holds true for journalists. Online readers and criticizers are demanding more transparency from a group that usually doesn’t give too much away.

Chapter 4: Newsmakers Turn the Tables

 Not just journalists and everyday people are using blogs to get the word out. Public Relations specialists have taken to reading blogs, and mailing lists, to see what the inside track of their product is. CEOs, founders and other major executives have also taken to blogging to get their point of view heard, while subtle promoting their company or business. Celebrities have also taken to blogging, so as to give themselves a face outside of the characters that they play. These bloggers create a problem for journalists or news organization who do not report what these specialists think is the most important. CEOs and celebrities alike, both turn the tables on journalists, attacking their articles.

Chapter 5: The Consent of the Governed

Blogs have helped to create a bottom-up feel in politics, where the right combination of technology and skill could help get a candidate elected. Although online movements aren’t solely responsible for getting a candidate elected yet, there has been several examples of how it has helped to get a candidate publicity and a fan following, but also donations. In the United States, technology savvy campaigns began to really take form in the 2004 presidential election, where candidates like Dean gained popularity from outlining political fans. The familiarity with technology and ‘open sources’ also allowed everyday people to create their own advertisements, which they then placed on the web for all to see. This helped the media realize that there was a value in niche journalism, as some of the best coverage of the election came from bloggers.  

Chapter 6: Professional Journalists Join the Conversation

Because journalists are often only one person, the masses that reader their work tend to be collectively more intelligent. Articles online has allowed these masses to comment on stories, correct mistakes, and in general, make the journalists work better (if he or she will accept it). While individual journalists may be reacting to the swing in technology, some big media outlets aren’t. By not putting writer’s email addresses at the end of articles, or participating in forums, papers are losing out on what is the future of journalism. Besides major newspapers, universities also need to adapt to the changing world. Journalism professors need to teach new media tools and techniques in addition to the tradition skills learned by a journalist.

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