- Ironically, journalists -— a group normally reluctant to theorize —- are today up to their ears in definitions, a favorite activity of philosophers.
For some time, journalists and their associations have been trying anxiously to define “journalist” and “journalism” as a media revolution blurs the differences between professional journalists and citizens.
I have some bad news for this definition-making industry.
No rigorous and widely supported definition now, or in the foreseeable future, is likely to emerge from this row over who is a journalist. Better, I would advise, to explore the deep sources of the definitional disagreement and look for a new way to view journalism.
To put my point in the form of a slogan, I say: “Do ethics, not definitions.”