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Everyone is a Media Outlet - Shirky Ch 3

Page history last edited by Vicky Paz 15 years, 5 months ago

Chapter 3, “Everyone is a Media Outlet”

Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody


“Our social tools remove older obstacles to public expression and thus remove the bottlenecks that characterized mass media.  The result is the mass amateurization of efforts previously reserved for media professionals” (55).


The presence of the internet has had a profound effect on professions as we know them.  With the internet allowing amateurs to produce material on their own, news and media professionals find their jobs in question.  “Most professions exist because there is a scarce resource that requires ongoing management…,” (57) but the internet has changed the way some professions are viewed.  With professionalism come standards.  Standards become important within a profession as certain behavior is enforced by members of the same profession and is expected by the consumer.  The internet allows easier production, reproduction and distribution of information and media. Much of this is accomplished without the use of professionals which, in turn, is lowering standards.  The loss of professional control will be damaging for many of societies core institutions (73).

            People can publish whatever they want, which undoes the limitations that the press imposes.  A story that the press might feel is unimportant can be found important by someone else and gets posted on the web.  As a result of this posting, blogs get started and this “unimportant” event becomes much publicized on the web.  The effortlessness of publishing provides many more outlets.  This ease gets the word out online in hundreds of places and has an amplifying effect over the smaller professional outlets.  This changes news from an “institutional prerogative to news as part of a communications ecosystem” (66). The “radical spread of expressive capabilities” (66) has resulted from mass amateurization.


The internet has had and will have significant and everlasting effects. This YouTube video provides some mind-blowing statistics.

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