Difference between Reporter and Journalist

Key Difference: The primary difference between a reporter and a journalist is that the term, reporter, is commonly used to refer to somebody on TV who generally reports the news, whereas the term journalist is typically used in context of a print journalist who writes articles.

It is a difficult thing to get all the facts and to present it to the general public. In addition to differentiating between the different news that one is bombarded with during a day, one generally does not consider the source of the news itself. The person from whom the news is coming from, are they a reporter or a journalist? And what is the difference between a reporter or a journalist for that matter?

The primary difference between a reporter and a journalist is that the term, reporter, is commonly used to refer to somebody on TV who generally reports the news, whereas the term journalist is typically used in context of a print journalist who writes articles.

However, this is a very narrow scope of the definitions. The scope of the terms actually exceeds those definitions. It can be said that all reporters are journalists, but not all journalists are reporter. Basically, this means that reporters are type of journalists. In addition to reporters, editors, news anchors, publishers, columnists and opinion writers are also considered journalists.

One way to distinguish reporters is that while journalists also comment on news, in the form of editorials or opinions pieces, reporters ideally do not. The primary function of a reporter is to report the news. In fact, it may be the case that the news that they report are often not be sourced or complied by them. They may in fact be sourced by another journalist. This is often what happens on news channels. The journalists often source and compile news, and write news reports that the reporter would then report on live television.

Hence, it can be said that reporters tend to have a narrower scope than a journalists, and often requires a specific skill set. Whereas, being a journalists often requires one to be knowledgeable about all the various aspects of a journalists’ job, such as news sourcing, fact checking, editing, news reporting, writing opinion articles, etc.

Still, it should be noted that these roles are constantly evolving and the definitions are not standard. Hence, the definitions are very subjective and may differ in each person’s understanding of the terms.

Comparison between Reporter and Journalist:

 

Reporter

Journalist

Definition (Oxford Dictionaries)

A person who reports, especially one employed to report news or conduct interviews for the press or broadcasting media.

A person who writes for newspapers, magazines, or news websites or prepares news to be broadcast.

Type

A type of journalist

Include various types of editors, editorial writers, columnists, and visual journalists, such as photojournalists

Roles

Researches, writes, and reports on information in order to present in sources, conduct interviews, engage in research, and make reports.

Researches, writes, and reports on information in order to present in sources, conduct interviews, engage in research, and make reports. Additionally, fact-checking, editing, as well as writing opinion pieces on news.

Reference: Oxford Dictionaries (Reporter and Journalist), Wikipedia, Chron
Image Courtesy: clipartall.com, regionaljournalism.ro

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