There are numerous people out there who often get confused between a journalist and a reporter. Most of them think that reporter is the same as a journalist and they can use the words interchangeably. Some people even think that both the professions include different type of job profiles. But, in actual, both are wrong. So, we are here today with a brief article with a major aim to tell you people a difference between a reporter and a journalist. Both of the professions, a journalist and a reporter are associated with a vast domain of Journalism.

Journalism is associated with numerous things, including covering an event, reporting that event, editing the news, publishing the news and much more, which is the job of a journalist. On the other hand, a reporter does a particular task of a journalist. A journalist can be a reporter, but a reporter cannot be a journalist. Now, let’s read on few points which are mentioned below in order to get a complete idea about the different between a journalist and a reporter.

Function of a Journalist

If we go with the definition of a journalist, then there is no perfect or precise definition yet available for it. There is a controversy about the definition of a journalist which changes from time to time. But the most generic definition we can get is, a journalist is a person who gathers all the information about an event for publishing or broadcasting it to the general people. Now this broadcasting can be done by any means, either by a newspaper or by electronic media. This particular definition mostly covers all the aspects of a journalist from reporting an event to editing the news to anchoring the news for publishing the news.

Function of a Reporter

The function of a reporter is much narrower as compared to such a wide field of work in journalism. Reporters are those people who do most of the field work, covering events physically and then reporting it. If we go through the definition of a reporter then, a reporter is a person who physically engages in any event and gathers the information either directly or from doing first person interactions. The information which a reporter collects is usually what has actually happened at the event or the interactions through the people present at that event. Now this information is not always true, means that, it is not what incident has happened in front of the eyes. And that’s why this information is sent to the editors for further refinement before presenting in front of the audience.

Since a reporter is a person who attends the campaigns and events, thus, he/she needs to be active and have good communication skills to interact with people. The person also must have some good information sources from where he can get real news. Moreover, he should also be able to create new information sources at the moment quickly. He should be very agile to switch from one event to other as most of the time reporters cover different events day to day and under tight deadlines. Reporters should be such who can keep precise, informative notes so that real news can reach to readers. After all, that a reporter reports is what a reader is going to read.

With the rapid increase in the growth of new information sources, like podcasts and blogs, a question arises that “who is a journalist and who is not?” There was a time when people who worked as writers in newspapers, broadcast news services, and wire services call themselves as journalists. But now, people who witness the events and share information through the social media also started calling themselves as journalists. And this particularly has blurred a line between a bystander and a professional journalist.

Also see: What Are the Advantages of Being a Journalist?

But this also leads to the question that, does all the rules and duties which a professional journalist follow, will those be followed by the untrained person behind the blog? I would like to know your opinions. So, feel free to share your thoughts with us by mailing us and helping us to improve it well.