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October 30, 2013
Who's a Journalist These Days?
 
Considering who, after all, is a journalist can encourage PR people to broaden their reach on influence and ideas. Two academic-oriented writers, Jonathan Peters and Edson C. Talbot, noted by the Poynter Institute, deal with this timely question in a study aimed at defining anew who is entitled to press privileges. 

"The conceptual issue here," they write, "is that the last 10 years have seen huge swings in media-consumption patterns, and innovations in technology, from mobile applications to the Internet, have created new channels for people to communicate with mass audiences. That has complicated the effort to define a journalist, an issue relevant under not only federal shield bills, but also under the federal constitution, state shield statutes, state retraction statutes, and press credentialing policies, all of which contain language defining a journalist. Some definitions are broad enough to include bloggers and citizen journalists, while others are narrow enough to exclude them. It is time to consider this issue systematically by explicating the concept of journalist..."

Take notes and get your contact lists out.

And here's an example of how the selection, or exclusion, of new information outlets - in this case, Watchdog.org and, doubtless, others like it - plays out.  


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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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