Since I’ve been labeled an “investigative journalist”, I’ll briefly dispute it, and then describe how no less than Democrat New York Senator and global warming believer Chuck Schumer says people like me are journalists.
The above definition is pure tradition, one I’ve long held without giving much thought to it. So after my Heartland friends applied that label to me – which I didn’t catch at first when they put out the press release on my “Merchants of Smear” Policy Brief – I fired off an email asking for it to be replaced with one more to my liking. They disagreed, saying the definition of journalist has changed.
Indeed it has, with an unlikely supporter of their view being Senator Charles Schumer. One of the results at a Google search for “define journalist” is the “Defining a Journalist Is Messy, But Crucial” article at PBS in which Senator Schumer said, regarding the Free Flow of Information Act of 2013,
The world has changed. We’re careful in this bill to distinguish journalists from those who shouldn’t be protected … But there are people who do real journalism in different ways than we’re used to. They should not be excluded.
‘Real journalism in different ways’ probably meaning bloggers. Read one paragraph beyond that in the article and it tells how Schumer and his fellow Senators compromised on the definition, which included a line about “someone with a substantial track record of freelancing in the last five years.” Does that mean news reported in blogs? It doesn’t say, really.
My first online piece appeared in November 2008. Combine that with my other online pieces from December 2009 onward at various different places, and an argument can be made that I at least have some kind of track record meeting a definition suiting the likes of Senator Schumer.
But then, we could ask if people who genuinely fit the old definition of journalists – such as those seen on the PBS Newshour – are committing acts of journalism when they don’t report half the story of global warming, and can’t answer the direct question of why they’ve apparently excluded skeptic climate scientists’ lengthy and detailed viewpoints from their program for the entire 20 year time their news outlet has been discussing the issue.
For what it’s worth, I’m a traditionalist. I don’t consider myself a journalist, and my goal is to get my material reported by what I’d call genuine journalists who can dig even deeper into particular problems beyond what I can do, which is either ‘citizen journalism’ or just old-fashioned whistle blowing. If my critics wish to trash me by saying Heartland applies a false label to me, they will have to first dispute the label with Senator Schumer.