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Who's a "journalist"?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Dave Kindred, May 9, 2011.

  1. Dave Kindred

    Dave Kindred Member

    My try at an answer....

  2. Jesus_Muscatel

    Jesus_Muscatel Active Member

    Dave is.

    A fine one at that.

    End of thread.
  3. You got a little brown stuff right there... No, no on your nose .. Yeah right there ... ;)

    The line is blurred further by teams that employ their own writers.

    Does Jim Gray qualify as a journo given his latest golf-related transgressions?

    I read this last week. I want to hear the Adolph Rupp story .. No pictures please.
  4. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    This answer is not going to make everyone happy, but...

    You just cannot decide you are a teacher, police officer, fireman, lawyer, nurse, doctor, pool manager, tractor traikler operator, etc... without an accredition by a government-accepted group.

    It used to be that journalists were self-policed by the newspapers and organizations that gave them a forum. If you were employed by the Wash Post as a writer, that is good enough for us, so you are a journalist. No problem getting that press pass.

    Now, a person can create their own forum in a couple of hours on their computer. This is too easy, and should not merit a press pass. And web hits are a terrible way to track if a person is legit.

    Something should be set up with a group approved by the FCC (I don't know exactly who, but that is a guess), and this group would maybe have 50 to 100 rotating members who would apprive applications on a predetermined set of qualifications.

    This sounds crappy, but it probably is the correct way to do this. Setting it up would be a bitch, though.
  5. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    When I worked at City Hall in New York, we had a couple of guys that "published" pamphlets or newsletters -- occasionally -- that had full press credentials and attended press conferences. (This was basically pre-internet.)

    It was silly. They asked dumb questions and wasted real reporters time.

    But, I suppose an open government is at the bedrock of or nation's ideals, so I'd lean further towards accommodating a gadfly at City Hall than I would a sports locker room.

    But, I also wouldn't rule out all bloggers.

    To again compare it to politics, debate commissions require a candidate to have some standing in a poll to allow the candidate on the stage.

    If a blogger has an audience, publishes on a regular basis, and takes their work seriously, I'd give them a press pass.

    And, further, I think journalists are blind if they don't see bloggers as serious competition.

    Because access is so crucial to bloggers -- as opposed to reporters from newspaper reporters who have guaranteed access -- they tend to be cheerleaders. They trade positive coverage for access.

    And, while teams and leagues now have their own sites to dispense news, I'd expect to see them using bloggers more and more to get their message out.

    In the restaurant industry, it's already happened.

    Restauranteurs and Chefs cater to bloggers, who respond with glowing coverage. They get comped meals, invited to previews, etc.

    And, food critics, already among the most conflicted journalists out there, are responding in kind.
  6. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    First, let me say that this is a fantastic piece. I've covered events with Stephanie and can say that she at least acts like she belongs, which is more than can be said than a lot - A LOT - of hotshot web folks out there.

    A lot of you will recognize that this is something that happens more and more with smaller events - minor league baseball, for example, or some smaller colleges. There's occasionally a reporter from the metro paper there, more often a reporter from the smaller daily there and almost certainly, anymore, someone who runs a blog or some smaller website devoted to covering either the team, the school or the league. With such a niche audience, of course, the page views on these things can't be very high.

    I know of a fellow who started a website while in college devoted to covering one of the smaller Division I basketball conferences. He's part slimeball, part schmuck, and a bit of a know-it-all, and he's very off-putting. But, if you check out the guy's website, he's got quite a bit of information up there, covers quite a few games (I think it was about two or three a week) and the coaches seem to know and respect him. That may blur the lines a bit - do the coaches respect him because he's always at the games, or do they respect him because he does a good job? - but as long as you do a good job, I think that's all that counts. After all, there are plenty of slimeballs who work for newspapers and radio stations still today.

    The other half of the equation, though, gets back to what 93Devil hinted at - those granting press access to certain individuals, and what they consider to be an acceptable standard. I'm convinced that at one of the small colleges in the area, I could start a fanboy Wordpress blog rife with spelling mistakes and factual errors and still be given a credential because they think it's cute. They're the ones who are not doing anyone favors.
  7. Jesus_Muscatel

    Jesus_Muscatel Active Member

    Yeah, whatever, Orville.
  8. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Again, another nice job Dave. It's a real thin line (and getting thinner), but I think the difference is, bloggers like Wei are out hustling and getting information to feed the beast, vs., say, some work that crosses my desk where it's apparent they're just fanbois who want a platform to say "Tiger choked again."

    Another good example, which I think has been cited on this forum, is the LA Kings, who, seeing the number of reporters in the press box dwindle, have opened the gates to bloggers.
  9. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    An organization giving out credentials was never meant to promote or define journalism. It was started to ensure coverage in the newspapers of the day. Bloggers who get credentials are just an extension of that.

    If a blogger has a large audience, more and more organizations will issue credentials to them. Just remember many small newspapers won't get credentials for the major sports leagues.
  10. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Pre-Internet, major-market sports teams and events did not give credentials to every small daily, weekly and radio station that requested them. Always was subjective.

    I can't find an answer that has no loopholes, but generally where I set the bar is: Is this person's work scrutinzed BEFORE publication. Now I know there are some one-person weeklies that do a good job, and that in the age of tweeting, veteran journalists publish without editing -- but they do so knowing they will be held accountable by a boss, which is a different thing than being held accountable by an audience. My general rule of thumb, though, is that having a boss of some sort is what separates a professional news organization from a hobbyist who makes a few bucks at it.

    It's not snobbism -- I've made the point a couple times that Dave's NSJC columns do not appear to be edited and at times seem to suffer from a lack of scrutiny before publication. Even editors need editors. I often seek input from other editors even when it's my job to hit the "send" button.
  11. Brian Cook

    Brian Cook Member

    Access usually isn't critical to a blogger, who has gotten in a spot to get that access by writing stuff that doesn't rely on it.

    Meanwhile, the harshest criticism of most programs often comes from fans with a more lofty view of expectations than might be reasonable. Example: Ohio State fans on the internet have taken to lambasting OL coach Jim Bollman, who they think is not very good at his job, while newspapers ignore the disconnect between OSU's OL expectations and results. Similarly, Michigan fans frequently kvetched about Lloyd Carr's tendency to close his sphincter late in games. This criticism was rarely repeated in the media except by the reflexively negative guy every newspaper carries around for some reason. A lot of M bloggers bombed the Brady Hoke selection; the media has eaten out of his hand.

    When it comes to college programs breaking the rules you will see fans in lockstep behind their program, but the idea fan media is generally more "positive" about on-field events does not correspond with reality. It's more extreme in both directions but until newspapers start complaining about the predictability of Team X's offense fans will always have the edge in negativity.
  12. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    I think "page views" should be whispered and not in the presence of women and children.
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