journalism, news, publishing

Who is a journalist in the digital age

The term journalist has a more fuzzy definition in the digital age. Many definitions old and new can have holes readily picked.

The recurring question stemmed from a LinkedIn post by John Thompson of, linking to: “Who’s a Journalist? Closing in on a Definition” – Thomas Kent.

In my view, and  the basic building blocks of journalism should be apparent to merit the term: open, honest, objective, ethical and truth-seeking.

Difficulty and grey area is that these can be achieved without formal training or a connection with an established news org. Many bloggers have high journalistic standards.

But simply relaying press releases or retweets would not justify the term, adding context is another key journalistic skill, although curation could be part of a news source’s approach to sharing important or relevant information.

In related story today, David Amerland writes in a post ‘Role of journalist is changing in semantic web’:

consider that the web is being transformed from a place where anonymity and unaccountability were virtually synonymous and practically guaranteed, to a place where trust, authority and reputation are the only attributes that really matter.

Connectivity and transparency, reputation and trust are now computable attributes.

In other words, relating to Google’s ongoing search criteria tweaking, being a trusted source, adding your byline, and having a having a digital/social persona are becoming increasingly important factors for anyone seeking journalistic heights in their work.

This story may well run and run.


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