“But on the overall issue of “real reporting,” the wonder and beauty of journalism and the First Amendment are that they don’t qualify the press, because the press cannot be controlled or confined by any form of legal definition.
For the press to BE the press, it must reflect the nature of those who are drawn to the trade — curious, rebellious, skeptical, resistant-to-authority, tenacious, creative, and resourceful people — not the type prone to any sort of conformist license.
Who is a reporter?
We’re all reporters.
Who does journalism?
We all do journalism.
Our audiences and approaches may be different than those who wish to set and maintain the information agenda in any community (or country), but no one has the right to say that your form of journalism is any more “real” than mine.
And so I feel, once again, compelled to state that the institutional, “professional” press in this country is the fruit of Walter Lippmann’s social engineering dreams, that democracy can only work if an educated elite (press included) leads the riffraff that is everybody else.”
“The phrase is ‘real reporting’, as differentiated, I suppose, from dishonest, fake, false, feigned, imaginary, imitation, invalid, unreal, or untrue reporting.” More from Terry Heaton.