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NY Times editor defines 'real journalist'

Glenn Greenwald, a reporter of The Guardian newspaper, speaks during an interview in Hong Kong Monday, June 10, 2013. Greenwald reported a 29-year-old contractor who claims to have worked at the National Security Agency and the CIA allowed himself to be revealed Sunday as the source of disclosures about the U.S. government's secret surveillance programs, risking prosecution by the U.S. government. Credit: AP

Between the mainstream media, opinion writers, bloggers and people who just like to tweet, there's a lot to be said about the word "journalist" and who it applies to.

Some say Glenn Greenwald isn't one because he's an outspoken civil liberties activist, though he's also a columnist for The Guardian. Sean Hannity, a conservative radio and TV show host, called himself "a journalist who interviews people" back in 2008.

Who's to say otherwise? Margaret Sullivan, public editor for the New York Times, takes a stab at defining the term:

A real journalist is one who understands, at a cellular level, and doesn’t shy away from, the adversarial relationship between government and press – the very tension that America’s founders had in mind with the First Amendment.

Those who fully meet that description deserve to be respected and protected — not marginalized.

Presumably, a "real journalist" is also someone who writes.


One last thing…
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