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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Gillmor Forms Center for Citizen Media

Dan Gillmor has been trying to reach me for several days and we've missed each other. Now I know why he was calling. He's officially announced formation of the Center for Citizen Media. This is very good news for the Blogosphere, the mainstream media and the emerging Internet-based media.

Why? Let Dan explain:

"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."

To which I reply: Amen, Brother!

Dan will be a teaching fellow at Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society. His main office will be on the west coast but he promises to be on the Harvard campus at least once a month. He also promises to hold events at both locations.

I've been a Dan Gillmor fan since I read his "We the Media," which inspired several Eureka! moments as I reflected on my own experiences as a newspaper journalist and then-aspiring blogger. If you haven't read it, you should order it now and make it part of your holiday reading plans.

Dan is also a newspaper guy at heart, which probably has something to do with why I place him among the genuinely serious people thinking and talking about the future of journalism who is consistently worth listening to and studying. Congrats, Dan!