The article, “Who’s a Journalist? Does that matter?” by Dan Gillmor, should be interpreted as a piece written to inform and make the audience think about the future of journalism. The author chose to discuss this topic because the issue of defining journalism is very relevant to today’s society. People rely on blogs and unrecognized sources for their news every day. If this subject isn’t addressed the consumer culture could fall victim to false reporting and bias. Gillmor gets to the real question of what makes someone a journalist, and most importantly, does the term even hold meaning in today’s society?
The subject of this piece was a very sensitive issue for the author Dan Gillmor, who is a highly acclaimed journalist and participant in the social media of today’s consumer culture. Gillmor works at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University, where he tries to bring entrepreneurship and digital media literacy into the curriculum. He is also a blogger, author, speaker, media investor and co-founder of several online businesses. His most recent book, Mediactive, is intended to turn passive media consumers into active users, as participants at every step of the process starting with what we read.
In the past, Gillmor was a columnist at the San Jose Mercury News, and wrote a weblog for SiliconValley.com, which was known as one of the first web publications by a journalist for a traditional media company. Over the years, he has free-lanced for the New York Times, Boston Globe, Economist, Financial Times and many other publications. Gillmor was a Knight-Wallace journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he studied history, political theory and economics.
The site where this article was published is called Salon.com. This site has an audience of 15 million users who read and actively respond to breaking news, including politics, culture, technology and entertainment. The sites purpose has been to inform its audience with the use of investigative reporting, fearless commentary and criticism, and provocative personal essays. Salon.com has been a leading in online media since the beginning of the digital age.
Gillmor’s article received mixed reviews on the site from various commenters of different backgrounds. Some of the more classically trained journalists seemed to have the common opinion that the amateur participants of online media do not deserve a title or to be recognized as anything other as unreliable sources. Other people who agree with the changing face of journalism eagerly commented on the article with praise and agreement towards Gillmor’s belief that “every person is capable of doing something that has journalistic value”. They agree that the word “journalist” has fallen on hard times, and the future of journalism lies with anyone who creates worthwhile media that is useful to it’s readers. When interpreting this article, people should be aware of the changing face of journalism and the constant struggle to balance the original ethics of quality reporting with the digital era of consumer culture.
Gillmor, D. (2010, 08 26). Who's a journalist? does that matter?. Retrieved from http://www.Salon.com
About salon media group. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.salon.com/about/
About dan. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://dangillmor.com/about/