Principles of a new media literacy – Dan Gillmor


(This is an HTML reprint of an
essay (PDF) of the same title, recently published as part of the Media Re:public project at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. I’m posting it here with some links to source material that don’t appear in the PDF version.)

Media are becoming democratized. Digital media tools, increasingly
cheap and ubiquitous, have spawned a massive amount of creation at all
levels, most notably from the ranks of the grassroots in contrast to
traditional, one-to-many publications and broadcasts. The networks that
made this possible have provided vast access to what people have
created — potentially a global audience for anyone’s creation.

Some interesting points here but how about media ownership – and not only traditional media. The corporatisation of the net itself should be a worry and deserve comment/critique. The traditional broadcast/print media and their ownership are wound up in an information society that has developed out of and strengthens (now global) capitalism. Tools of content creation have not significantly changed that nor has critique made great strides since the introduction of such tools. Gillmor makes the point obliquely in his last paragraph:

We are doing a poor job of ensuring that consumers and producers of
media in a digital age are equipped for these tasks. This is a job for
parents and schools. (Of course, a teacher who teaches critical
thinking in much of the United States risks being attacked as a
dangerous radical.
) Do they have the resources — including time — that
they need?

Surely the attack on the teacher for being radical is a product of the media ecology that creates such an attack … If the mainstream shuns critical thinking in favour of propaganda what hope for the teacher?

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