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Is a blogger a journalist?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JayFarrar, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member


    This is posted on Romenesko, but I was wondering what people thought.
    The basics, Josh Wolf has been in jail for over six months for refusing to turn over video he shot at a demonstration near San Francisco. In the riot, a cop's skull was fractured and a police car was set on fire.
    Wolf does not work for a media outlet, but is instead a blogger.
    He sold a portion of the video to news outlets and has also posted some of the footage on his Web site.

    The case brings up several interesting points:
    * Is a blogger a journalist?
    * Is saying you're a journalist enough for legal cover?
    * Since he works for himself, he doesn't have the credentials that come along with working for a media outlet, and should that even matter?
    * Would you stay in jail for six months on principle?
    * Would you hinder a criminal investigation?
  2. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    is a blogger a journalist?

    turns out that a lot of journalists aren't journalists, i.e, judith miller.

    journalism does not require a professional license or certification. nor does blogging.

    here's a piece gil cranberg wrote, which asks why journalists don't do journalism - at the damndest times:

    By Gilbert Cranberg

    As the war in Iraq nears its fourth anniversary, and with no end in sight, Americans are owed explanations. The Senate Intelligence Committee has promised a report on whether the Bush administration misrepresented intelligence to justify the war against Iraq. An explanation is due also for how the U.S. press helped pave the way for war. An independent and thorough inquiry of pre-war press coverage would be a public service. Not least of the beneficiaries would be the press itself, which could be helped to understand its behavior and avoid a replay.

    Better a study by outsiders than by insiders. Besides, journalism groups show no appetite for self-examination. Nor would a study by the press about the press have credibility. Now and then a news organization has published a mea culpa about its Iraq coverage, but isolated admissions of error are no substitute for comprehensive study.

    The fundamental question: Why did the press as a whole fail to question sufficiently the administration’s case for war?

    More specifically:

    Q. Why did the Knight Ridder Washington Bureau’s “against-the grain reporting” during the build-up to war receive such “disappointing play,” in the words of its former bureau chief?

    Q. Why did the press generally fail to pay more attention to the bureau’s ground-breaking coverage?

    Q. Why, on the eve of war, did the Washington Post’s executive editor reject a story by Walter Pincus, its experienced and knowledgeable national security reporter, that questioned administration claims of hidden Iraqi weapons and why, when the editor reconsidered, the story ran on Page 17?

    Q. Why did the Post, to the “dismay” of the paper’s ombudsman, bury in the back pages or miss stories that challenged the administration’s version of events? Or, as Pincus complained, why did Post editors go “through a whole phase in which they didn’t put things on the front page that would make a difference” while, from August 2002 to the start of the war in March 2003, did the Post, according to its press critic, Howard Kurtz, publish “more than 140 front-page stories that focused heavily on administration rhetoric against Iraq”?

    Q. Why did Michael Massing’s critique of Iraq-war coverage, in the New York Review of Books, conclude that “The Post was not alone. The nearer the war drew, and the more determined the administration seemed to wage it, the less editors were willing to ask tough questions. The occasional critical stories that did appear were…tucked well out of sight.”

    Q. Why did the New York Times and others parrot administration claims about Iraq’s acquisition of aluminum tubes for nuclear weapons when independent experts were readily available to debunk the claims?

    Q. Why did the Times’s Thomas E. Friedman and other foreign affairs specialists, who should have known better, join the “let’s-go-to-war” chorus?

    Q. Why was a report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace accusing the administration of misusing intelligence by misrepresenting and distorting it given two paragraphs in the Times and 700 words in the Post (but deep inside), with neither story citing the report’s reference to distorted and misrepresented intelligence?

    Q. Why did Colin Powell’s pivotal presentation to the United Nations receive immediate and overwhelming press approval despite its evident weaknesses and even fabrications?

    Q. Why did the British press, unlike its American counterpart, critically dissect the speech and regard it with scorn?

    Q. Why did the Associated Press wait six months, when the body count began to rise, to distribute a major piece by AP’s Charles Hanley challenging Powell’s evidence and why did Hanley say how frustrating it had been until then to break through the self-censorship imposed by his editors on negative news about Iraq?
  3. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Being a blogger does not make one a journalist, but plenty of journalists are bloggers...
  4. RokSki

    RokSki New Member

    I agree with henryhecht and Mizzou. There are plenty of 'journalists' who aren't real journalists, and there are plenty of journalists who blog. There are also plenty of bloggers who wouldn't want to be (and don't deserve to be, IMO) called journalists. A kid down the street might keep a MySpace blog about what he does after school, but that doesn't make him a journalist, IMO.
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