My life has been in media — music, newspapers, online, books, investing and education.
I’m director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. We’re working to help create a culture of innovation and risk-taking in journalism education, and in the wider media world. I’m also the school’s Kauffman Professor of digital media entrepreneurship. (Disclosure: Google has loaned us some of its G1 phones, and T-Mobile has provided airtime, for some experiments in new media.)
I remain director of the the Center for Citizen Media, a joint project with ASU and the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society (I was a Fellow at Berkman from 2006-2009 and am now a Faculty Associate). I also write articles and have published a book called We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People (2004; O’Reilly Media), and am working on a new book about media in the digital age. The paperback version of We the Media was released in January 2006. The book has been translated into many foreign languages, most recently Korean and Arabic.
I’m also involved in several outside projects; have a number of media investments; and am on several media-related boards and advisory boards. These include:
- Co-founder, Dopplr, a travel site and “social atlas”. Here’s my public Dopplr page. UPDATE: Dopplr is now part of Nokia (announcement)
- Investor, Wikia, a privately held consumer wiki company (Jimmy Wales, founder, is a member of the Center for Citizen Media Board of Advisors)
- Investor, Seesmic, a privately held company that does Twitter applications and online video
- Shareholder in New York Times Co. and Berkshire Hathaway (owner of the Buffalo News and major shareholder in the Washington Post Co.)
- Board member, First Amendment Coalition
- Advisor, FON, a collaborative Wi-Fi company
- Advisor, Global Voices Online, a nonprofit
- Advisor, Spot.us, a startup working on new journalism business models
- Advisor, Publish2.com, a site aggregating journalists’ links and ideas
In 2005 I worked on citizen media through Grassroots Media Inc.; I count the failure of Bayosphere, a new-media startup, as one of my best learning experiences.
From 1994-2005 I was a columnist at the San Jose Mercury News, Silicon Valley’s daily newspaper, and wrote a weblog for SiliconValley.com. The blog is believed to have been the first by a journalist for a traditional media company. I joined the Mercury News after six years with the Detroit Free Press. Before that, I was with the Kansas City Times and several newspapers in Vermont. Over the years I’ve freelanced for the New York Times, Boston Globe, Economist, Financial Times and many other publications.
During the 1986-87 academic year I was a Knight-Wallace journalism fellow at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where I studied history, political theory and economics.
Before becoming a journalist I played music for seven years.