We The Media

We the Media book jacket.Dan Gillmor’s We The Media caught my attention. From the Publisher’s description:

For the first time, bloggers have been awarded press credentials to cover the national political conventions. …Grassroots journalists, including bloggers, […] are dismantling Big Media’s monopoly on the news. Through Internet-fueled, interactive vehicles like weblogs, these readers-turned-reporters are transforming the news from a lecture to a conversation. They’re publishing in real time to a worldwide audience that’s eager to read their independent, unfiltered reports. And the impact of their work is just beginning to be felt by professional journalists and the newsmakers they cover. We the Media sheds light on this deep shift in how we make — and consume — the news.

Amazon’s reader reviews give rise to hope and concern. This one, from Jean-Louis Gasse, gushes with five star praise:

Terrific read, an important book for readers interested in an rich, animated walk through the origins and the rise of this new democratic medium, very much in our We The People tradition. Who knows, blogs might even warm the heart of my favorite curmudgeon, Neil Postman, the author of Amusing Ourselves To Death….

But Anna Ortiz gave it just one star, saying:

I have just finished reading Mr. Gillmor’s first book and let me say that I hope it is his last. […] The book is an easy read but offers no insight for anyone who actually uses the Internet as a media tool and has been subjected to censorship. For example, hot topics like the use of Internet SLAPPs by corporations to stifle free speech and destroy publisher anonymity and invade user privacy are nowhere to be found in Mr. Gillmor’s book. What is found, is reference to the BBC, the Chinese government, Dan Rather, Ross Perot, Bob Woodward and a number of equally powerful entities who have absolutely no need for additional hype. Sadly, reading this book from cover to cover left me feeling hollow and empty.