Why is Sgrena Called a Journalist?
Craig Henry poses an interesting question:
If journalists have to be non-partisan by definition (according to the “bloggers can’t be journalists” school of thought), then why does the press keep referring to Giuliana Sgrena as a journalist? She works for the a nakedly partisan newspaper– Il Manifesto — the voice of the Italian communists. If she is a journalist, isn’t Jeff Gannon?
I’d say Yes to both Sgrena and Gannon. But Craig’s point is a valid one in the sense that many people do include in their definition of “journalism” a requirement of objectivity. Of course, Dan Rather wouldn’t qualify under that definition, either.
Dictionary.com offers the following definition of “journalism:”
jourÃ‚·nalÃ‚·ism (jÃƒ»rn-lzm) n.
1. The collecting, writing, editing, and presenting of news or news articles in newspapers and magazines and in radio and television broadcasts.
2. Material written for publication in a newspaper or magazine or for broadcast.
3. The style of writing characteristic of material in newspapers and magazines, consisting of direct presentation of facts or occurrences with little attempt at analysis or interpretation.
4. Newspapers and magazines.
5. An academic course training students in journalism.
6. Written material of current interest or wide popular appeal.
Sgrena and Gannon both qualify. Interestingly, bloggers (or, for that matter, people who write for Slate and Salon and other online publications) don’t since this definition is based on the medium of presentation.