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An important citizen journalism speech

Dan Gillmor is a keynote speaker at the World Association of Newspapers conference in Seoul commencing tomorrow. Yesterday he posted the text of his keynote, What Professional and Citizen Journalists Can Learn From Each Other, at on his blog.

Dan’s is a leading voice in the citizen journalism movement and his keynote speech essential reading for anyone interested in this field. He positions citizen journalism with this statement:

Something important is happening in the world of journalism:. It’s an evolution from the lecture model, to which we in mass media have become accustomed in the past century, to something closer to a conversation. The shift stems from the collision of technology with media.

He then notes:

That, by the way, is the last time I’ll talk about technology today in any specific way, because this trend is more about people than gadgets. Citizen journalism is made possible by what’s new. It will be made excellent because of what people do with it.

I think what he’s saying is that technology is the enabler. The real movement is what people do with it. This is the killer application as software people would call it. The people application. How we embrace the technology and use it to release us from the control of others. Rather than being lectured at as Dan refers to the old model, it’s is a conversation with our input helping shape the result as much as the professional reporter/news gatherer.

I was to be in Seoul, in part to hear Dan speak, and am glad that through his blog and the concurrent World Editors Forum blog I am able to access content electronically.

Those of us on the news and information supply chain can learn from Gillmor for roles we can play in this changing world.


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