Ask the Readers: Can Bloggers Call Themselves Journalists?

Brand Yourself AsPersonal Branding

Are the terms ‘blogger’ and ‘journalist’ interchangeable? The answer today may be different than it was just 5 years ago.

Back story

The Montreal Canadians’ hockey team held a recent press conference to announce the new contract of their top goaltender. As is usually the case in Montreal, many journalists attended the event but, to their surprise, there was another kind of reporter in the room.

Launy Schwartz is one of the creators of a hockey social network called Hockey54. He’s one of the site’s bloggers and has done many videos interviewing high-profile NHL players. On his website, Launy calls himself “a professional TV and radio journalist”. Launy’s LinkedIn profile shows that he did finish university with a degree in TV & Radio Arts, but Hockey54 – the site he created – does seem to be his first On Air experience.

On the one hand, if you watch any of his video interviews, there’s no question that Launy’s style is a little more exuberant than that of your average sports reporter. On the other hand, his questions are usually (if not always) relevant and of interest to the viewer, just like you’d hope from your average sports reporter.

The Canadians’ press conferences aren’t open to the public; Launy needed a press pass to get inside, and he did have one from the team. That wasn’t enough for some of the well-known, veteran journalists that were also present, though. According to this great writeup of the press conference, Launy was consistently chided for his questions and generally treated like a fan of the team who had somehow managed to sneak inside.

Bullying Launy seems to have been a cheap way for the mainstream journalists to vent their anger at competition from new media in general, but is there a valid point in there about whether he deserved to be in the room in the first place?

Is Launy’s degree and personally branded website enough for him to be considered a journalist? The Canadiens’ press pass shows what they think.

Does it make a difference if he pays the membership fees and joins the Canadian Association of Journalists? Anyone can join.

Does it matter to you whether your news comes from a journalist you trust or a blogger you trust?

Regardless of the responses, a lot more people know who Launy Schwartz and Hockey54 are now.

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy 7 Signs That You Are Now An Expert And Can Call Yourself One.


Jacob Share, a job search expert, is the creator of JobMob, one of the biggest blogs in the world about finding jobs. Follow him on Twitter for job search tips and humor.