If I take a video of Robert Pattinson arriving at Vancouver International Airport, does that make me a paparazzi?
When I ask myself that question, I can’t help but bring myself back to the argument over whether bloggers are journalists.
Yesterday, while I was covering the Twilight cast’s arrival, I managed to take the above video. I don’t lug my diaper bag of a purse around for nothing: on any given day where I’m out reporting, I never leave without my Flip Mino HD, my recorder, my point and shoot camera and my notebook.
So when I spotted the pale, hunky, stud of a vampire, it only made sense to whip out my Flip and record R-Pattz walking through YVR. A journalist’s first reaction, right?
After I took the video, I remember someone commenting that I’ve graduated from reporter to paparazzi. “No, I was just reporting,” I replied. I am a multimedia journalist after all. But when does journalism cross the line into being paparazzi?
I think it’s the same as my argument for bloggers and journalism. I don’t believe bloggers should be considered journalists, unless they’ve got equal or greater experience than a “professional” journalist. Journalism is a trained occupation, whether that training is through internships or work experience or schooling. And contrary to what some paparazzi boo-ers believe, paparazzi-ism is the same. Sure, the average person can take a blurry, rule-of-third-less photo of Tom Cruise. But unless you 1) are a trained photographer or have put decent time in to hone your celebrity photography skills 2) have worked a few years in the profession in order to build reliable sources (that whole process is hell, believe me) I’m inclined to say you’re not a paparazzi.
What a fascinating discussion.