On my web site and in bios everywhere I tend write “freelance writer/journalist.” Sometimes I alternate – freelance writer for one publication, freelance journalist for another. I feel compelled to highlight the difference, but I have to wonder does it matter, if so to whom? I also wonder if there is really a difference.
A person writing for a magazine or newspaper has to follow journalistic guidelines, except in first person narratives, so does that make them a journalist? When a journalist blogs like I do for a non-news blog are they a writer only? I tend to attach journalist to my profile because I have a degree from The Ohio State University School of Journalism (now Communication) that I am still paying for so I like to make that bit of effort known!
When I attach journalist to my profile, I seem to earn a bit more respect from sources (and other writers) and it clearly defines what I do for a living. On the other hand I also have corporate clients and attaching journalist sometimes scares off potential clients because they think I may a “down in the trenches, war-zone reporter,” not a flexible freelancer who may report about breastfeeding and local politics one minute and produce press releases for a business leadership trainer and surgical camera company the next moment.
If I say I’m a writer people ask about books, and while I’m working on one I haven’t been published yet so I am hardly an expert. If I say I’m a journalist, people ask on what channel I appear. It’s pretty sad people forget about newspapers these days! In my brain there’s a difference, what do you think?
The comment section here at Article Writing for Freelance Writing Jobs has been a bit quiet lately so I’d like to hear from everyone, including those lurkers – what do you call yourself? Is there a difference between the two?