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Mediactive by Dan Gilmor

The book Mediactive, written by Dan Gillmor was very informational on the topic of truth and lies in the media.  Gillmor stated, “We’re in an age of information overload, too much of what we watch, hear and read is mistaken, deceitful or even dangerous.  Yet you and I can take control and make media serve us – all of us – by being active consumers and participants.”  Media started when humans began to depict stories on walls of caves, clay tablets, and scrolls which ultimately led to the first stage of Media, the printing press.   Which then continues onto the telegraph, broadcasting, television and finally our society has made it to the world wide web.  Not only has the way we use and display media changed over the years, advertising has too.  Advertising now takes in most of the revenue in newspapers and online web-sites.

It is hard to know what to trust and what not to trust in the media.  There is so much information put out to the public that not everything can be accurate and trust worthy.  The book showed us 5 main principals of media consumption.  First, be skeptical, exercise judgement, open your mind, keep asking questions, and learn media techniques.  There are a few things they showed to think about while deciding which news to trust.  Why trust an article that the author neglects to state their name.  If they can’t add their name to their work you might think they are scared or ashamed to share their name because their work is faulty.  Why trust a comment or an attack back on an article that someone refuses to state their name.  Just because a story is in the NY Times does not mean it a reliable source.

More and more people today are actively participating in media.  The last half of the 20th century people consumed media passively.  If you  have a Facebook account, send emails to more than one person at a time about interesting things, participate in any online forum, post videos to youtube or do any thing with digital tools at your disposal than you are considered a media creator.

We thought that this book was very good for anyone who is active in media to read.  There are some people out there that believe everything they read and hear even if it is blatantly untruthful.  People need to be more educated on how to use media and when they are searching for something, if they are searching for it the right way.  This book helped to open our eyes to see how many lies people put out into world and that we need to be aware that there are untruthful people out in the media.

Submitted by: Christine Marks & Trey Stover


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