What is a journalist?

Cyril Connolly said: Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice; journalism what will be grapsed at once.

He died in 1974 so we can’t ask him to define blogging. But Vernon Small  is confused because he no longer has a robust definition for a journalist and he asks: 

Do bloggers do journalism? Or do we need a new definition of journalism that allows some sorts of blogging but not others …. since I seem to be blogging right now.

My answer is some journalists are bloggers, some are not; some blogging is journalism, some is not. Blogging is a new medium of communication different in many ways from but complimentary to older forms such as newspapers, magazines, radio and television.

All of these have people writing for them, some of whom are journalists, some of whom aren’t, some get paid for it, some don’t; some write well, some don’t; and some of what they write is journalism and some isn’t.

Small says he would find it hard to recommend a blogger be given accreditation to the press gallery. I have reservations about this because it appears to be restricting freedom of expression because of the of the medium used to communicate. However, you define journalism it ought to take account of what is done, and possibly how well, but not the medium used to do it.

Hat tip:  Inquiring Mind and Kiwiblog.

Update: The Hive has entered the debate.

UPdate 2: So has No Right Turn. and Update 3 Jafapete has too.

2 Responses to What is a journalist?

  1. Inventory2 says:

    I’m an “almost” journalist HP – My mother was a journalist, and my son is currently doing a BComms with a view to a post-grad journo qualification when that’s done. And thinking back (a long way back!), I applied to get in to the Akld journalism school way back when, so I guess it’s in the genes and that blogging is my way of scratching the itch.

  2. […] What is a journalist? « Homepaddock Says: August 9, 2008 at 10:05 am […]

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