Former Mercury News columnist Dan Gillmor, who now oversees the Bayosphere web site, plans to help citizen journalists by launching a new organization called the Center for Citizen Media. “Why do this?” Gillmor asks on his Bayosphere blog. “We need a thriving media and journalism ecosystem. We need what big institutions do so well, but we also need the bottom-up — or, more accurately, edge-in — knowledge and ideas of what I’ve called the ‘former audience’ that has become a vital part of the system. I’m also anxious to see that it’s done honorably and in a way that helps foster a truly informed citizenry. I think I can help. This is a nonpartisan initative. I aim to help anyone, regardless of political views, who has a constructive project and who is interested in expanding the reach of citizen media in an principled way. The center will live virtually at citmedia.org. I’ll be posting more details there in the relatively near future.” The Center will be jointly affiliated with the UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University Law School. Gillmor will be the center’s founder and director.