Friday, December 28, 2007

Which are you?

Someone is applying for a job at a newspaper, and the owner asks: "Are you a journalist or a reporter?" The applicant responds, "What's the difference?" And the owner replies, "A journalist makes himself the hero of the story. A reporter is only the witness."

Watching an old black-and-white move with Humphrey Bogart, this exchange strikes me as worth further thought. This is a journal, and I am the hero of my story. Confirmation bias shapes how I tell the story, and it rarely reflects poorly on me. However, I've had a lot of help identifying my flaws and the ways I contributed to things going badly in my past--and fixing them, for the most part.

In your writing, are you a journalist or a reporter?

The movie is Deadline U.S.A., from 1952.

1 comment:

Mark Jones said...

I'd like to say "I'm a reporter," but I'm pretty sure that I'm really a journalist. Most of us are, even those who are convinced that they're reporters. (Parenthetically, I find it interesting that the news media almost universally refer to themselves as journalists.)