Who can be a Journalist?

Some people falsely believe that only those who have gone to journalism school are qualified to be a journalist. Others think that to be a journalist, one must work for big newspaper companies, or for big television news stations.  Then there is the mistaken belief that a special permit from the government is required in order to be a “real” journalist.  Of course, that is not true.

There are many types of journalist, and many ways for anyone to become a good journalist. Professional journalists, and citizen journalists, both have the same basic job to do.  Often, the difference is that one does it full time, while others do it part-time.  If you just happen to be at the right place at the right time to capture a very important story or event, you could suddenly have the opportunity to report on the event in journalistic fashion.

If you have a story, and you follow accepted journalist practices, then there is no reason to not consider yourself a journalist. There may be a tendency for a professional journalist to minimize the roll of a citizen journalist, but in a news hungry world, we benefit when all journalists show solidarity.

Should you be interested in making journalism a career, you have the option of advancing your education with a degree in journalism, or just some classes at a nearby college, but once you have the basics, there is no substitute for real-world experience. That has the tendency to make us all good journalists.