A journalist is a person who works in journalism to report the news. They may work on their own ("freelance") or for a newspaper, a radio or television programme. There are different kinds of journalists.
A reporter is a type of journalist who researches, writes, and reports information. Newspaper reporters write news articles and stories for newspapers. They write these articles and stories by interviewing people, asking questions, and doing research.
Reporters must tell the truth in their reports. Telling the truth is a very important part of all journalism jobs. Those who do not tell the truth may be punished like other workers who do not do their work. They can be suspended (do not work for a short time) or fired (losing their jobs).
Journalists sometimes expose themselves to danger, especially when reporting in areas of armed conflict or in places that do not respect the freedom of the press. Organizations such as Reporters Without Borders publish reports on press freedom and advocate for press freedom. The Committee to Protect Journalists has reported that as of 1 December 2010, 145 journalists were imprisoned around the world for reporting the news. Current numbers are even higher. The ten countries with the most journalists currently imprisoned are Turkey (95), China (34), Iran (34), Eritrea (17), Burma (13), Uzbekistan (6), Vietnam (5), Cuba (4), Ethiopia (4), and Sudan (3).
There are many different types of jobs in journalism.
- A columnist is someone who writes their opinions and point of view for a newspaper or magazine.
- A correspondent is a journalist who reports from a distant location. They report for a newspaper, or radio or television station, whose staff is based in another location. A foreign correspondent is a correspondent who reports news from another country.
- A fact checker checks that the facts written in news reports are indeed correct.
- A copy editor checks for errors in spelling and grammar.
- A news presenter, or anchor, is someone who presents news during a news program
- A penny-a-liner is a derogative term for a journalist who is paid for a certain amount of text. It is an old expression which goes back to the days when writers were paid one penny for each line they wrote. An Australian newspaper, The Queenslander, printed a story in 1871 that the "...penny a-liner no longer exists, for there are but few papers who pay at so small a rate at the present day. The increased value of literary labor and the demand for news has affected the lowest as well as the highest of literary laborers, and the flimsy writer can now obtain three-halfpence, and in some cases, twopence, for every printed line that appears in the newspaper..."
- A photojournalist is a journalist who takes photographs in order to tell a news story.
- A political commentator is a journalist who takes a non-objective viewpoint in a discussion.
- "Number of Jailed Journalists Nearly Doubles in Turkey". Los Angeles Times. 5 April 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
- Iran, China drive prison tally to 14-year high. "Iran, China drive prison tally to 14-year high (December 8, 2010). Committee to Protect Journalists. Retrieved November 18, 2011". Cpj.org. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
- "NLA Australian Newspapers - article display". newspapers.nla.gov.au. 11 February 1871. Retrieved 15 August 2010.
- Nathaniel C. Fowler (1913) The Handbook of Journalism: All about Newspaper Work New York: Sully and Kleinteich.
- James L. Huffman (2003) A Yankee in Meiji Japan: The Crusading Journalist Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-7425-2621-1
- David Randall (2000) The Universal Journalist Sterling, Virginia: Pluto Press. ISBN 978-0-7453-1641-3; OCLC 43481682
- Ejijah M. Stone (1921) Fifty Years a Journalist New York: Doubleday, Page and Company. OCLC 1520155
- Donald Woods (1981) Asking for Trouble: Autobiography of a Banned Journalist New York: Atheneum. ISBN 978-0-689-11159-4; OCLC 6864121