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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,, a startup working on new journalism business models
  • Advisor,, 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 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.

Projects & Tools


Center for Citizen Media

The Center for Citizen Media is a new initiative aimed at helping to enable and encourage grassroots media, especially citizen journalism, at every level.


Digital Media Law Project

Founded in 2007 as the "Citizen Media Law Project," the Digital Media Law Project (DMLP) works to ensure that individuals and organizations involved in online journalism and…

Media Re:public

Media Re:public is a research project that examines the current and potential impact of participatory news media.


Dec 18, 2008

Media Re:public: News and Information as Digital Media Come of Age

Overview paper, issues, case studies

A series of papers exploring the potential and the challenges of the emerging networked digital media environment.

Jan 24, 2006

We the Media

Grassroots Journalism By the People, For the People

Book Description, from Amazon: "We the Media, has become something of a bible for those who believe the online medium will change journalism for the better." -Financial…


Feb 15, 2011

Questions for Secretary Clinton concerning "Internet freedom"

Faculty associate Matthew Hindman provoked an energetic email exchange among members of the extended Berkman Center community today, in anticipation of Secretary Clinton's …

Apr 29, 2009

Radio Berkman: Journalism Is Dead. Long Live Journalism!

This week on Radio Berkman: Dan Gillmor offers his vision for a participatory media, with five principles for 21st century journalism...


Mar 26, 2013 @ 12:30 PM

Permission Taken

Dan Gillmor

Once, personal technology and the Internet meant that we didn't need permission to compute, communicate and innovate. Now, governments and tech companies are systematically…

Apr 12, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Mediactive: Using Media in a Networked Age

Dan Gillmor of ASU & Berkman Center Faculty Associate

We're in an age of information overload, and too much of what we watch, hear and read is mistaken, deceitful or even dangerous. Yet we can take control and make media serve us --…

Apr 21, 2009 @ 12:30 PM

Mediactive: Why media consumers, not just creators, need to be active users

Dan Gillmor, Berkman Fellow

The supply side of tomorrow's media is emerging quickly, if messily, in a democratization of media-creation tools that give us a vast and growing amount of content of all kinds,…

Jul 16, 2007 @ 12:00 AM

The Summer Doctoral Programme (SDP)

The Summer Doctoral Programme (SDP) is a joint effort of the Berkman Center and the Oxford Internet Institute, which provides top doctoral students from around the world with the…

Nov 7, 2006 @ 12:30 PM

America at Sidewalk-Level: Placeblogs as a Lense into Citizen Journalism

Lisa Williams, Founder of Placeblogger, with Dan Gillmor, Berkman Fellow

Lisa Williams with Dan Gillmor discussed placeblogs as an example of citizen journalism.

Jan 17, 2006 @ 12:30 PM

Citizens' Media

Dan Gillmor, Berkman Fellow

Dan Gillmor on Citizens' Media and the Center for Citizen Media which exists to study, encourage, and enable new forms of grassroots media.

Dec 9, 2004 @ 12:00 AM

Internet & Society Conference 2004 (IS2k4): Votes, Bits, and Bytes

The Internet & Society 2004 conference, entitled "Votes, Bits, and Bytes," took place on December 9 - 11, 2004, on the Harvard campus.