At the beginning of this semester, I wrote about my opinions on who passed as a journalist. Over the course of the semester, however, my ideas were shaped and formed into a new opinion. I claimed that everyone was a journalist; that anyone who produced words could be considered a journalist. I do not necessarily agree with this anymore. Although I do believe that more than just those with press passes are journalists, I do believe there is a line that must be drawn. Finding that line is the hard part, but whether it is tangible or not, the line must exist.
In this article, it points out that journalists abide by a certain set of rules and regulations that help guide and sometimes restrict the things that are produced by professional journalists. Although there are many who do not have a degree or a professional position as a journalist, there are some that produce material that is sometimes equal if not above par than that of an official journalist. Yet, they follow their own rules and have no obligation to meet any deadlines nor guidelines. I think that principle defines the largest and most significant difference between journalists and those who write; it is the line between those things that determines who really is a journalist.
This article from the Times argues this point saying that we need a broader definition of “journalist”. They emphasize the statement that “some of the best journalists haven’t had any academic training in the field.” They use the First Amendment to support this idea saying that it is not just for journalists but for everyone in America. While I do agree with them in some areas, I still hold my ground by saying that there is a fine line that separates journalists from American people writing on blogs.
After this verdict created great controversy, they decided that they must decide who a journalist is. I believe it is important to already have that definition and description set in concrete so we can be prepared in situations such as the Crystal Cox controversy. That line must exist. That line is what helps us decide who is a journalist.