What is a "real" journalist? I have a degree in Journalism, does that count?
If one publishes a "journal" -- online or not -- doesn't that by definition make one a journalist?
Or is there a test? A certification? That would indeed make us Journalists as opposed to journalists.
Here's my reply, posted here for wider consideration and comment:
A journalist is a person who does journalism.
A journal? Nope, not enough. A Flickr stream? Not necessarily.
Journalism has a lot in common with science: it's a process of testing, calibrating, disputing, refining and adjusting notions about reality. There's no "whole truth" or final answer to be had, but there *is* a process available that gets us closer. It's neither an accident nor a revelation from on high; it's the product of evolution. (See “The Truth Discipline” in Jack Fuller’s book “News Values,” pp 86-89).
Good information advantages those who have it, and “journalism” is simply the process by which we have sorted and codified one kind of information as being more refined than some others. (Ideally, a doctoral thesis, investment newsletter or CIA briefing might all be even higher grade info than journalism.)
Not everybody with a blog about biology can call herself a scientist, nor is every political blogger a journalist. But some are.