Marry Me, Andrew Kantor

Writing in USA Today:

Today, the Web is an essentially way to get news, and, while journalism is pretty much the same, the term “journalist” is getting a bit cloudy.

That’s why the question of whether bloggers are journalists keeps coming up. When anyone can publish, anyone can be a journalist.

So the questions the courts need to answer is not, “Who is a journalist?” but rather, “Who is doing journalism?” That 12-year-old girl was doing it, even if she isn’t in high school yet — even if she wasn’t a journalist.

The guy who cuts your hair might be a barber, or he might be a friend who’s good with the scissors.

In other words, not being a journalist doesn’t necessarily reduce the quality of the work, nor should it reduce the protections it receives.

So when a question of journalists’ rights comes up, we need to ask two questions. First, “What protections should journalism receive under the First Amendment?”

And second, “Was the person in question performing an act of journalism?”

If she is — if the work she was doing involves gathering and publishing information of legitimate public interest — then her profession doesn’t matter.

The idea that the line ‘twixt amateurs and professionals is blurring is something we need to get used to.

Precisely. If the work’s good, I don’t care if the person who does it is left, right, center, upside down, trained, untrained, a monkey, whatever. Judge the work and quit jerking off about your shiny diploma. Jesus.