I do believe in real journalists!

One my favorite scenes in the classic play and film “Peter Pan”  is when Peter revived  Tinkerbell by yelling ” I do believe in fairies! I do believe in fairies!”  Poor Tinkerbell dropped down dead because someone said ” there is no such thing as fairies.” How tragic that something or someone’s very existence be dependant upon the belief of other’s.

Fun Link: Peter Pan explaining the existence of fairies to Wendy

( 0:27-1:22)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RL7twzkhXcc&feature=related

In the same way that Peter brought Tinkerbell back by proclaiming his belief in fairies, there are people who are trying to revive society’s belief in real journalism and journalists…and I am one of them.

“Back in the day,” academic and professional training were both necessary in order to be a” real journalist.” Today it seems like anyone with an opinion and a laptop can market themselves as a journalist.

Many  in the field of journalism have mixed feelings about this. For example, some feel that bloggers are real journalists , while others feel that training and experience are necessary to produce credible journalistic material.

Recent polls show that 52 percent of bloggers consider themselves journalists, but I wonder what percentage of that 52 percent have actually studied the history journalism and know what it is?

(This blog offers great insight into this debate.) http://blog.journalistics.com/2010/are-bloggers-journalists/

Does possessing the ability to write a complete sentence and take a picture give an individual the right to call themselves a journalist?

As a journalism student, I do not take kindly to people acting as though journalism is something that anyone with half a brain can do with ease.

Blogging is great because it grants people a venue to express themselves without many restrictions; however, that lack of restriction is part of the reason many people don’t consider blogging “real journalism.”

A person can write 600 words in a blog and swear the information included is true.

Journalism is “the reporting and gathering of factual and credible information that’s used to inform and educate people.” So, if you take the factual and credible aspects away…what are you left with?

I am very interested to hear how others feel about this topic. I believe in real journalism that’s produced by real, skilled, ethical journalists; but what about the rest of the country? Are professional journalists on the verge of extinction, or can the profession be revived through the belief of the consumer?  Only time will tell.

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