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Journalist or not? Wrong question
By Dave Winer on Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 3:25 PM.

DougSaunders: "Journalist is a word like runner, not like engineer. Any citizen who chronicles surroundings is a journalist." #

If you swim you're a swimmer. If you keep a journal you're a journalist.  #

That's why fights over who's a journalist or not are pointless. #

However, there is a line that is not pointless: Are you an insider or a user? #

Insiders get access to execs for interviews and background info. Leaks and gossip. Vendor sports. Early versions of products. Embargoed news. Extra oomph on social networks. Favors that will be curtailed or withdrawn if you get too close to telling truths they don't want told.  #

A picture named circle.jpg #

All the people participating in the "journalist or not" debate are insiders. They are all compromised. Whether or not they disclose some of these conflicts, none of them disclose the ones that are central to what they will and will not say.  #

Then there are people who are completely outside the line. They pay for the products they use. They get new products when they ship. They never get embargoed news. They get their followers "organically."  #

If you want to know if a product works as advertised, people outside the circle are trustworthy. They might not be right, but at least they have no reason not to tell you what they think. People inside the circle are telling you a special version of the truth. This means they might tell you a product works when it doesn't. #

Christmas Tree
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