Who is a Journalist?

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As Domingo et al. (2008) observed in Participatory Journalism Practices in the Media and Beyond, the borderline separating professional journalists and their audience is continually becoming blurrier as news networks become more readily available through mobile and online devices.

The traditional model of journalism involving ‘gatekeeping’- journalists deciding what and how much information the public wants and needs to know in order to provide quality and neutrality (Domingo et al.)- is being turned on its head right this very moment as we speak blog/tweet/Facebook/Instagram.

As I wrote previously in my last post regarding the public sphere of imagination, the new model of journalism too is relying on a reciprocal relationship between journalist and reader (Berkowitz, 2009). Critics are calling for news to evolve from an idle lecture to a flowing conversation between reporter and audience (Domingo et al.)

In this week’s lecture on ‘The Future of Journalism’, BCM lecturer Marcus O’Donnell raised a simultaneousImagely interesting and concerning question; ‘Who is a Journalist?’

Ergo, now of a similar ilk are the questions ‘Who is a Journalist?’ and ‘Chicken-or-the-Egg?’; tricky, persistent and permanent.

So, who is a journalist? From Oprah Winfrey, to Julian Assange, to the “do-gooders” on Facebook warning their friends via status of police RBTs or mobile speed cameras in the area- it seems just about everyone is a journalist. They are all about sparking and encouraging conversation, distribution, engagement and interpretation- which is what the future of innovative journalism is all about.

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David Domingo , Thorsten Quandt , Ari Heinonen , Steve Paulussen , Jane B. Singer & Marina Vujnovic, 2008, “Participatory Journalism Practices In The Media And Beyond,” Journalism Practice, 2:3, 326-342

All images obtained from google images.

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