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Nieman Journalism Lab
Pushing to the future of journalism — A project of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard

Anytime there’s discussion of a shield law to protect journalists, the question immediately arises: Who counts as a journalist, anyway?

The by-now-commonplace response to that is to say we should be protecting acts of journalism, not a class of individuals labeled “journalists.” But defining what those acts are isn’t easy either.

That’s the context for this new paper from Free Press’ Josh Stearns, which tries to get at those issues:

In a new paper we’re releasing today, we profile some of these journalists and highlight the emerging consensus around a new vision for press freedom, one that protects all acts of journalism.

At its core is the idea that everyday Americans are central to the future of journalism as news consumers, distributors and creators. We need to push for policies that protect longstanding journalism institutions alongside these new participants…

Around the country people are committing acts of journalism that are serving their communities, influencing national debates and changing the face of journalism. As our understanding of journalism changes, so too must our understanding of press freedom.

— Joshua Benton
                                   
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