What Is Journalism, Mr. Trebeck?

The title wasn’t funny and neither is my definition as you will soon find out. We are asked to define journalism in just about every journalism class because it is such a broad channel of communication and our own defintion may contradict itself within two weeks due to the ever-evolving lifespan of journalism.

First, I want to define the journalist as a storyteller. The journalist’s purpose is to serve the public with news. Ha! Now you’re gonna ask me “What is news?” Well Scott, that is just one too many questions for now. But I feel that any form of news or storytelling is journalism. News alone is timeworthy but journalism also encompasses some very unnewsworthy aspects such as sports predictions, concert previews and movie reviews. If you are attempting to engage me with your writing, I’ll call it journalism. If you just like to hear yourself speak, that is “art”.

Online journalism follows the same broad aspects of storytelling and attempting to engage readers, but it is online and you can not touch it. You can only touch your screen and make fingerprints- better than the ink sticking to your fingers, right? Online journalism’s major difference from traditional/print media is its insane immediacy.


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