Dan Gillmor, the founding director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at the Walter Cronkite School for Journalism and Mass Communication, will give the keynote address for the 53rd Media Ethics Institute at Washington and Lee University. It will be held on Friday, March 16, at 5:30 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons.
The title of Gillmor’s talk is “Media Ethics in a Digital Age: Traditional Principles Collide with New Tools and Tactics.” The address is free and open to the public.
Gillmor, also the Kauffman Professor of Digital Media Entrepreneurship at the Cronkite School, began his journalism career at the Valley Voice in Middlebury, Vt., before moving to the Times Argus in Barre-Montpelier, Vt. He joined the Kansas City Times in 1984, and was a fellow at the University of Michigan in what is now called the Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellows Program.
Gillmor joined the Detroit Free Press and was an early practitioner of computer-assisted reporting, becoming one of the first journalists at a traditional media company to utilize the Internet. He then moved to the San Jose Mercury News, where he wrote a column and blog chronicling the dot-com revolution in Silicon Valley and technology’s wider impact on policy and society. His blog is believed to have been the first by a journalist for a mainstream journalism organization.
Gillmor left the Mercury News to work on grassroots media projects, including Bayosphere, a for-profit citizen-media effort that didn’t achieve critical mass and was subsequently sold.
Gillmor has published We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People (2004), which describes the Internet as an opportunity for independent journalists to challenge the consolidation of traditional media, and Mediactive (2010), a book on digital media literacy. Gillmore said that “his goal with this project is to help turn passive media consumers into active users – as participants at every step of the process starting with what we read.”
Gillmor is an investor in several new media startups including Silicon Valley-based Wikia Inc., and Seesmic, a privately held company involved in Twitter applications and online video. He is a shareholder in Berkshire Hathaway (owner of the Buffalo News and major shareholder in the Washington Post Co.) and Amazon.com, and was co-founder of Doppir, a travel site and social atlas.
Gillmor is a board member of First Amendment Coalition, a non-profit that promotes free speech and open government, and Pen Plus Bytes, the International Institute of ICT Journalism, a nonprofit based in Ghana. He is on six media-related advisory boards and advisor and co-founder of Citizen Media Law Project, a Berkman-based (and Knight-funded) project.