Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A rare defense of journalists

Should we use the term "journalist" for every person who takes 5 minutes to create a blog? The profession of journalism is slightly more respected than politicians, used car salespeople, and prostitutes. However, it is a professional field, and it means something to be a journalist, even if it is not much. Although my training is in journalism -- and I am an assistant professor of communication -- I don't spend too much time defending the craft. Yet after listening to one more person try to slide the synonym "web journalist" in replace of "blogger," I felt a rant coming on.

Journalism is a technical field and could just as easily be taught in vo-tech schools and community colleges. However, there is something to be said for the training that you undergo as a journalist, like I survived at New Mexico State. Being an idiot with a laptop and a broadband connection does not make you a journalist. It just makes you an idiot with a laptop and broadband.

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