Direct media

In his account of these demonstrations Rop Gonggrijp reported that the amazing feature of these networks is that people, who are directly involved, report about their experiences and perceptions without being mediated by news agencies (Gonggrijp 1989, 23). At the time this was a new feature in the media landscape: to be able to share news made by lay people that is not subject to censorship, propaganda and commercial media networks. In my experience and in many other people's experience this is one of the most amazing aspects of the Internet, the fact that lay people share information, locally, internationally and across borders that are otherwise closed. The fact that these networks were shown, and 'live' communication took place on the big screen, made this awareness resonate with the audience, including the many journalists present. The fact that people collectively witnessed the 'mediated' presence of others who were physically present somewhere else, but who were clearly communicating 'live' with us in Paradiso without being hindered by formal institutions or laws, accelerated this awareness to the point that there was a perceptible 'magic' in the air. The potential of people to people networks inspired many Internet evangelists to promote these technologies in the decades to come.