Two reports released last week tackle this question from very different perspectives. Jonathan Peters and Edson Tandoc wrote a post on PBS MediaShift headlined “Defining a Journalist Is Messy, But Crucial.” Their research focused on using “scholarly, legal, and industry” texts to determine common elements of how a journalist is generally defined.
What emerged is a definition that even the authors themselves won’t stand behind, calling it a “fatal blow to new forms of journalism.”
Reporting is different from journalism, and it’s the latter we need to protect
This is a good thing. Journalism is a fundamental cornerstone of a strong democracy and an open and progressive society. The problem, however, is that many people associate journalism only with print news – newspapers and magazines. With the rapid decline of print there’s a fear that journalism is also in danger.