A bellwether event in citizens media

Dan Gillmor is launching a non-profit Center for Citizen Media to “study, encourage and help enable the emergent grassroots media sphere, with a major focus on citizen journalism.” This is a big deal, folks. The Center will be affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University Law School.

Why do this? We need a thriving media and journalism ecosystem. We need what big institutions do so well, but we also need the bottom-up — or, more accurately, edge-in — knowledge and ideas of what I’ve called the “former audience” that has become a vital part of the system. I’m also anxious to see that it’s done honorably and in a way that helps foster a truly informed citizenry. I think I can help.

This is a nonpartisan initative. I aim to help anyone, regardless of political views, who has a constructive project and who is interested in expanding the reach of citizen media in an principled way.

Dan’s a smart fellow, and it can be honestly said that he wrote the book on citizens media. He has the vision and the passion to pull this off, and I’m proud to call him a friend. He’s launched a website, citmedia.org, and tells us to keep an eye on it for future announcements. I’ll be doing just that.

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