It would be safe to assume he was referring to a staff writer or freelancer for a major news corporation. No problem with that.
What I found interesting is that even cutting edge Gen Y’ers like Jeff still hold the traditional media hacks in some sort of mythical esteem = “Real Journos”
From a PR perspective I’ve always had a slightly more sceptical view of what constitutes ‘real journalism’ especially in Australia, “land of the free, home of the media cartel fighting for advertising dollar.”
Approx 60%- 80% of everything that appears out of major news corporations in Australia is written, sourced, researched by a PR person. It lands on news desks as a pre-packaged product. The media clip, cut and post it with their name attached to it. Job done. The media release is the original user-generated content.
When you add into the mix syndicated stories from overseas and the growing number of opinion pieces from the public and you begin to get a picture of how ‘real’ local journalism actually is.
Over the last few years, very quietly the citizen journalist has begun to surpass ‘real journos’ in one area. Sports reporting. Yes, really.
Try being the Herald Sun in Melbourne and reporting objectively on the AFL when access to players and administrators form 90% of your entire sports coverage and your readership is interested in little else. Write an investigative piece on the AFL, see how far it gets past editorial and business management. You need them more that they need you.
Add the complication of advertising dollars from the AFL and If you are a serious sports fan, bloggers and online community are your only source of genuine opinion or unbiased analysis. The same goes for all of the major football codes. The Sydney media has the same devils contract with the NRL.
However the resistance is gaining ground with sites like www.theroar.com.au using content from frustrated major corporation writers and citizen journos and providing them with equal billing. Opinion egalitarianism of sorts. As a result the quality of user-generated content posted is far beyond anything you are likely to see from News Corp or Fairfax anytime soon. Opinion egalitarianism seems to raise everybody’s game.
So what is a ‘Real Journo?” - I would say one with the freedom to write without looking over his/her shoulder.
The digital age is producing plenty of these – You.