Tag Archives: what is journalism

Why does it matter if we call it journalism?

I’ve just had an email from a journalist in Portugal, who describes an all-too-familiar scenario:

“On Portuguese public TV there is a show called “Journalist’s Club”. The moderator was interviewing the director of the Portuguese news agency LUSA. He asked: is citizen journalism journalism? The director of LUSA said ‘Yes’ with some examples. The moderator was insistingly, to say the least, denying this possibility, giving the final comparison: “The act of journalism is like a medical act” – i.e. journalists are like doctors – they hold a power. This is the opinion of a majority of professionals here in Portugal and I bet in many other countries too.”

It amazes me that people are still debating whether X or Y is journalism. Apart from anything else, it seems such a pointless debate. Why does it matter what you call it?

There’s the comment-fueller for today – I’d love to know your opinions.