What’s a journalist

By Denae McArthur

What defines a true journalist? A question I thought about today during our lecture at the University in Brussels. I believe anyone in the United States feels like they have the right to be a journalist and write and publish articles. I never thought about the role of the journalist or even the differences between journalist in the U.S. and those in Brussels. Often when I think of journalist in general, I think of individuals reporting from areas of war and turmoil. I think of someone typing stories from the smart device while trying to avoid dust storms or flying objects. However our discussion with Hedwig helped me visualize that journalist in Belgium spend more time focusing on local things. Most of the journalist in Brussels focus on the events happening through out the EU and the visitors and events taking place in the city.The internet is used, but social media is not necessarily a focus.

In the U.S. social media is becoming the new platform for journalist, allowing any type of post from almost anywhere. Journalism for us is more interactive and content can be affected by the user. With Belgium having a love for news papers, the role of the journalist is more traditional here than at home in the United States. Printed stories are expected, papers are read and journalist do not need to have a network of social media followers to present content to. It is plan and simple. Journalist report the stories and the media makes sure they make it to the correct audience in the desired form. In my opinion this actually makes the role of the journalist is Brussels more competitive. A successful journalist would have to make sure their stories are being published in credible and popular news papers.

These differences seem subtle but makes you question if  “we journalist” would be successful in Brussels without the use of social media.


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