Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Who really is a journalist?

I read today about an interesting research done by the Annenberg Public Policy Center on who is regarded as a journalist. A survey of 1,500 adults and 673 journalists (yes, most of them adults but you know what I mean) gave really interesting results. I recommend reading the press release but here are few notions:
- people generally mix hosts/news anchors and journalists
- 65 % of journalists thought that large corporate ownership has a negative impact on journalism
- 36 % (general public 48%) of the journalists thought that owners are usually more concerned with making profit than prividing the audience with factual news coverage
- 45 % of the journalists said that bloggers have a positive impact on journalism, 38 % saw it as negative
20 % of journalists read blogs daily (general public 10 %)

Hmm...I have had this identity problem often. I mean thinking whether I am a journalist or not because I get most of my income from other sources. But I still say rather often that I am a freelancer. And I do remember several bar discussions with fellow journalists about the way people regard talkshow hosts or quiz show hosts as journalism. There was an excellent quote once in a Finnish newspaper from a model-turned-quiz-show-host:"I had often thought of wanting to be a journalist. But I really, I have to call all these people before hand and read some kind of background material. That's so much work." Yep.

p.s. The article in the picture is one that I wrote recently for Helsingin Sanomat on Videoletters.


Anonymous said...

Hi Tommi,
you seem to work for a cultural foundation and to be a free lance journalist.
Is this founation of yours discussing the recent European biggerings at all? Are there any papers available which one could read?
Hope you will extend this page, and: well done!

Tommi Laitio said...

Dear anonymous,

if you mean by biggerings the debate on the future of Europe, the European Cultural Foundation is highly involved in it. From the Foundation´s website ( you are able to read for instance a speech given recently by our Director Gottfried Wagner. Our views and projects in the field of media can be found by clicking first programmes and then media.

Thanks for the positive feedback.