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.


Photo by Kevin Dooley, Flickr

As a journalist, you don’t always get to write about everything you see, hear or ingest.

This blog will be dedicated to telling the stories behind my stories, exploring topics outside of my beat, and simply musing about day-t0-day experiences.

Please feel free to visit The Indie Files, my blog devoted to Canadian independent music, as well as The Pop Culture Files, my Tumblr site for all the neat stuff kids are talking about these days.