Are you a *real* journalist?

A real journalist has forgotten what it’s like to have a week off, writes Chris J. Ortiz, and has replaced one of the major food groups with coffee. Also, a real newsperson eats in the car more often than at a table. Also, he or she has:

* Written a 15-inch story in 30 minutes
* Corrected a loved one’s grammar in a greeting card
* Gotten fired/laid off for no good reason
* Slept in your car and not because you were too drunk to drive home

Ortiz — founder of the Stuff Journalists Like website — tells me about his 20-item checklist:

I wrote the list based on personal experience. Though 15-19 were reader contributed, I have done a phone interview naked (technically I was in a towel), I’ve taken notes on a napkin, and have threatened to quit over a story assignment. So mark me down for 19 (I actually don’t drink coffee).

* Checklist for being a “real” journalist (
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  1. For better or worse, real journalists (even aging ink-stained wretches) don’t just write any more, we also twitter/blog/post-video/upload-photo/respond-to-reader-comments etc etc etc

    The extreme pleasure of cranking out clean copy on a viciously tight deadline is no longer the sum total of the game.

  2. wubbly said:

    This reminds me of the sh!ttiness of the business I’m so glad to be out of. What other industry asks you to work your ass off for crap money — and for what? The joy of repeating the lies that are told to you? Journalism sucks and I’m glad it’s failing.

  3. I’m not glad it’s failing, but I do wish the current, ineffective incarnation would go ahead and die, rather than limping along pathetically as it does now.

    This checklist is an indication of the problem, as the second poster mentions.