A study attempts to define journalists, but should we define acts of journalism instead?

A study out of the Missouri School of Journalism tries to answer the question “Who is a journalist?” by looking at definitions from three domains — academic, legal, industry — for commonalities. The unifying definition the authors came up with is: “A journalist is someone employed to regularly engage in gathering, processing, and disseminating (activities) news and information (output) to serve the public interest (social role).” However, they note that the employment stipulation may problematically exclude those practicing new forms of journalism.

  1. Free Press campaign director Josh Stearns argues that we should define acts of journalism to protect all forms of journalism
  2. Five myths about the Federal Shield Law
  3. Earlier: Why defining a journalist is messy but crucial