In the interests of irritating those on all sides of an issue, I’ve posted a guest commentary on TechFlash calling for the optional, voluntary professional certification of journalists.
Why would I do something others in my former profession might think, well, is stupid?
After all, I spent more than a decade as a full-time news broadcaster (radio and TV), and then — after I moved to marketing consulting — still worked on the side as a columnist for Eastsideweek/Seattle Weekly (for four years) and KCPQ-TV Seattle as a commentator (for another four years). I should be one of the last people to call for journalist “certification.”
Years ago, when I read Algis Budrys’ 1977 novel Michaelmas, I wasn’t just struck by its prescient vision of a distributed, networked computer intelligence. I was struck by its vision of the profession of its protagonist: as a highly respected, freelance journalist, handling his own research, video and reporting — and selling his reporting services to the highest bidder.
More than 30 years later, Budrys (who died last year) may have hit upon the journalistic future I think we’re about to embark upon: that of free-agent professionals who are medium agnostic and can produce text, audio and video for just about any kind of media outlet, including one they individually control. Think of it as blended reporting. Continue reading Journalists: certify or not?