No Such Thing As ‘Being A Journalist’ Anymore

Are you a journalist?
Nope, says the group at Journalism Lives.

“If someone tells you, ‘I’m a journalist,’ tell him he’s being a bad journalist for being so vague,” JL wrote yesterday.

That statement, say the JL authors, could mean anything these days.

Instead, maybe you’re a “mobile maven,” someone who leads the way on mobile platforms, trying to figure out what content works best on mobile, researching app revenue models and promote mobile efforts. Or a multimedia reporter, shooting video and still images on top of covering your beat in print. Or a journalist/coder who understands PHP in addition to the police beat.

And timed so well you’d think they did it on purpose, Poynter held a live chat today about buzzwords on your resume. Because while specificity is good, what you don’t want to do is try to make your “journalist” title into a more specialist one by saying you’re a “social media guru” or “new media expert”..Poynter’s Joe Grimm said he would “never” hire anyone with one of those titles.

Other tired phrases: “platform agnostic,” “new media.” (Grimm says the web desk told him: “That’s not new anymore. To us, it’s just ‘media’.”)

Your titles and the way you describe yourself in person and on paper must change to suit the times. How would you describe yourself today?