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Mediactive Paperback – December 9, 2010
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--James Fallows, author of Postcards from Tomorrow Square
A trustworthy press is required for the survival of a democracy, and we really need this book right now." --Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist
From the Inside Flap
--James Fallows, Atlantic Magazine, author of Postcards from Tomorrow Square and Breaking the News
"Dan's book helps us understand when the news we read is reliable and trustworthy, and how to determine when what we're reading is intended to deceive. A trustworthy press is required for the survival of a democracy, and we really need this book right now."
--Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist
"A master-class in media-literacy for the 21st century, operating on all scales from the tiniest details of navigating wiki software all the way up to sensible and smart suggestions for reforming law and policy to make the news better and fairer. Gillmor's a reporter's reporter for the information age, Mediactive made me want to stand up and salute."
--Cory Doctorow, co-editor/owner, Boing Boing; author of For the Win
"As the lines between professional and citizen journalists continue to blur, Mediactive provides a useful roadmap to help us become savvier consumers and creators alike."
-- Steve Case, chairman and CEO of Revolution and co-founder of America Online
"It's all true - at least to someone. And that's the problem in a hypermediated world where everyone and anyone can represent his own reality. Gillmor attacks the problem of representation and reality head on, demanding we become media-active users of our emerging media, instead of passive consumers. If this book doesn't get you out of Facebook and back on the real Internet, nothing will."
--Douglas Rushkoff, author of Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age
"An important book showing people how to swim rather than drown in today's torrent of information. Dan Gillmor lives on the front line of digital information - there's no-one better to help us understand the risks and opportunities or help us ask the right questions."
--Richard Sambrook, Global Vice Chairman and Chief Content Officer at Edelman, and former BBC Director of Global News
"With the future of journalism and democracy in peril, Mediactive comes along with sage and practical advice at a crucial time. Dan Gillmor, pioneering journalist and teacher of journalists, offers a practical guide to citizens who now need to become active producers as well as critical consumers of media. Read this book right away, buy one for a friend and another one for a student, and then put Gillmor's advice into action."
--Howard Rheingold, author of the Smart Mobs and other books about our digital future
"Through common-sense guidelines and well-chosen examples, Gillmor shows how anyone can navigate the half-truths, exaggerations and outright falsehoods that permeate today's media environment and ferret out what is true and important. As Gillmor writes, 'When we have unlimited sources of information, and when so much of what comes at us is questionable, our lives get more challenging. They also get more interesting.'"
--Dan Kennedy, assistant professor of journalism at Northeastern University, former Boston Phoenix media critic, and author of the Media Nation blog at dankennedy.net
More About the Author
I'm director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The Center, funded by the Knight Foundation and Kauffman Foundation, is working to help create a culture of innovation and risk-taking in journalism education, and in the wider media world.
I also write articles, including columns at Salon.com on media and technology. In 2004 I published "We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People," a book that explained the rise of citizen media and why it matters. The book has been translated into a number of foreign languages, most recently Korean and Arabic. My new book is called Mediactive.
Top Customer Reviews
The third section is, in my opinion, the least useful part of the book. It starts with a review of the laws and norms governing journalism and communications in the U.S., but it's at best an overview of the issues that any journalist should be aware of. Then, it jumps into a discussion of teaching and learning media literacy and journalism, and concludes with what needs to change in order to improve the practice of journalism. As Gillmor himself admits, the latter topic alone deserves its own book, and that's the problem with the final section of "Mediactive". Each of the last three chapters would work much better as separate books, and there are books that you can buy on the three subject areas that are much more comprehensive than the information that Gillmor gives in a single chapter.
In short, I strongly recommend "Mediactive" if you or someone you know is serious about developing media literacy skills, and moderately recommend it if you're interested in citizen journalism. If the topics in the last three chapters are of serious interest, you'd do better by buying books dedicated to the topics.
Chairman, Advisory Board, Center for News Literacy, Stony Brook University
Former president, CBS News
Make sure you get copies for your children.
Besides, it's a sexier title.
Gillmor -- whose previous book, "We the Media," chronicled the rise of citizen media -- here takes us on a tour of the churning, still-evolving media landscape, where blogs and independent websites figure prominently in the discussion alongside the usual traditional media giants of print, broadcast, cable, radio and the Web. It's an age not just of "radically democratized and decentralized creation and distribution" but also an era of "information confusion."
Gillmor writes in the Introduction:
"For many of us, abundance feels more like a deluge, drowning us in a torrent of data, much of whose trustworthiness we can't easily judge. You're hardly alone if you don't know what you can trust anymore."
But we aren't helpless, either. In fact, we've never had more ways to sort out the good from the bad -- a variety of tools and techniques that are emerging from the same collision of technology and media that has created the confusion.
Not all information is created equal in quality or reliability. Gillmor's recent sojourn into academia has put him in close quarters with the next generation of journalists, and this book is intended as a steely-eyed look at news and information in the emerging mediasphere, the precepts and standards that set journalism aside from speculation and rumor, and why it's important for us to get this right -- as a society and not just as a profession.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Both as a primer and refresher Gillmor makes sense of the anarchic new internet era. His list of do's and dont's are required reading for journalists, business executives, and... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Freemarketarian
He has a good view of media today. The examples are helpful and very effective. Touches on media literacy and professional media production.Published on September 6, 2013 by Dr. B. Iverson
Gillmor gives some good insight into the ever-changing communications landscape. He offers tips and advice for becoming active in social media, the blogosphere, and other emerging... Read morePublished on November 20, 2012 by Don Sergent
Basically, stuff that common sense should tell you: Ask questions, think for yourself, don't believe anything you are told unless you have the proof of it in your hands. Read morePublished on September 29, 2012 by Amazon Customer
Very interesting approach to analyze the influence of the new information environment. Is easy to understand for me and my level of english.Published on March 28, 2012 by Oscar Martinez Ciuro
I reviewed this book for my job as a media researcher. Some of this review is modified from my longer review for the Center for Social Media, which you can read here: [...]. Read morePublished on February 20, 2011 by K. Donnelly
I am advocate for Media Literacy Education and "Mediactive" fits my needs as an American and Teacher. He tells it like it is and he speaks from experience. Read morePublished on February 15, 2011 by The Patriot