From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Jump to: navigation, search

A journalist is a person who practices journalism, the gathering and dissemination of information about current events, trends, issues and people.

Topics in Journalism.
Professional concepts

Ethics & News values
Objectivity & Attribution
News source
News & Investigation
Reporting & Writing
Business & Citizen
Alternative & Advocacy
Science journalism
Other Topics & Books

Outside influence

Infotainment & Celebrity
Infotainers & Personalities
Distorted news & VNRs
Yellow journalism
Public relations
Propaganda model

News media

Newspapers & Magazines
Online & Blogging


Journalists, Reporters, Editors, Anchors, Photojournalists, Visual journalists

Wiki Projects

Journalism Project
Media Project
Members needed

Reporters are one type of journalist. They create reports as a profession for broadcast or publication in mass media such as newspapers, television, radio, magazines, documentary film, and the Internet. Reporters find the sources for their work; the reports can be either spoken or written; they are generally expected to report in the most objective and unbiased way to serve the public good.

Depending on the context, the term "journalist" also includes various types of editors and visual journalists, such as photographers, graphic artists, and page designers.


Origin and scope of the term

In the early 19th century, journalist meant simply someone who wrote for journals, such as Charles Dickens in his early career. In the past century it has come to mean a writer for newspapers and magazines as well.

Many people consider journalist interchangeable with reporter, a person who gathers information and creates a written report, or story. However, this overlooks many other types of journalists, including columnists, leader writers, photographers, editorial designers, and sub editors (British) or copy editors (American). The only major distinction is that designers, writers and art directors who work exclusively on advertising material - that is, material in which the content is shaped by the person buying the ad, rather than the publication - are not considered journalists.

Regardless of medium, the term journalist carries a connotation or expectation of professionalism in reporting, with consideration for truth and ethics although in some areas, such as the downmarket, scandal-led tabloids, the standards are deliberately negated.

18th-century journalists

  • Daniel Defoe - as editor of the Review, he can claim to have invented many of the most popular formats, including the eye-witness report, the travel piece and the strongly opinionated column. Defoe's Review began publication on 19 February 1704 and lasted until 11 June 1713. He was also involved in several other periodicals, including The Master Mercury (1704), Mercator: or, Commerce Retrieved (1713-14), The Monitor (1714), The Manufacturer (1719-21), The Commentator (1720) and The Director (1720-1).
  • Richard Steele - founded and edited London-based periodicals including The Guardian and The Spectator in the early 1700s.
  • Joseph Addison - wrote many of the finest pieces in Steele's publications

19th-century journalists

20th-century print journalists

20th-century broadcast journalists

tobacco industry.

  • Abraham Gubler, a television producer, magazine editor, journalist and broadcaster. Best known for ground breaking coverage of Iraq war

Internet-only journalists

In recent years the numbers of journalists publishing only on the Internet, as opposed to print or broadcast journalists whose work also appears online, has grown enormously. Some of the best-known include:

Journalists writing fiction

There are many examples of journalists who made their mark writing fiction or other non-journalism, including:

Modern journalists

The explosion of modern media, including the creation of Internet-based news sources and the possibility that citizen journalism will greatly expand the field, has made it all but impossible to identify which journalists are notable, in the sense that they could be identified in the past.

Fictional journalists

Main article: List of fictional journalists

Attributing the profession of journalist to a fictional character allows many possibilities:

  • The action and adventure genres use reporters because they may travel extensively and are supposed to face risks.
    • In the superhero subgenre, journalists may be among the first to have news of disasters and crimes, easing complications arising from maintaining a secret identity. Major superheroes like Clark Kent / Superman and Peter Parker / Spider-Man are journalists in their civil lives.
  • Journalists can provide a vehicle for the author to explain complex things. For instance, Guy Hamilton and Billy Kwan make sense of the politics of Indonesia in the early 1960s for the Western viewers of The Year of Living Dangerously, and Ernest Hemingway's alter ego introduces Spain to Anglo readers of Fiesta (The Sun Also Rises).

Many fiction writers like Hemingway and Arturo Pérez Reverte use their professional background as journalists to create their fiction characters.

See also

External links

Personal tools