Shop Talk – October 22
11:52 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Trying to Define Who is a Journalist

The Shop Talk panelists kick around the idea of defining who should be considered a journalist.

Thomas Kent, the standards editor of The Associated Press, recently wrote about the issue on the Huffington Post. It’s a timely topic because the U.S. Senate is working on a media shield law to protect confidential sources used by reporters.

The October 22 Shop Talk program

In the past, journalists were generally considered to be reporters who worked for outlets such as a newspaper, magazine, radio station, or television station.  But now there are freelance reporters, bloggers, and others who also engage in journalism even though they don’t work for a so-called “traditional” media organization.

Panelist Lisa Kernek pointed out there was a move to professionalize journalism early in the 20th Century. There was even talk of requiring reporters to get a license, but ultimately journalism schools were started with the hope of raising reporting standards.

Panelist Jasmine Garcia thinks it’s important to protect journalists with a shield law. But she’s concerned lawmakers will come up with too narrow of a definition of who should be considered a journalist.