by HOLLY NELSON
After reading about Josh Wolf, a journalist who was given the longest jail sentence yet in the U.S. for not releasing his sources, I respect Josh very much for his decision to uphold his journalistic integrity.
Josh writes for his online blog, which is where he was posting some of the material from the San Francisco protest. While many people don't regard Josh's blogs as journalism, I do consider them a free-form of journalism. Merriamwebster.com defines a journalist as "a writer who aims at a mass audience", which is exactly what Josh was doing when he was covering the protest. Not only that, but he did uphold journalist integrity during the whole ordeal.
While I do consider Josh a journalist and believe he should have been treated as such in the San Francisco protest issue, I do not consider blogs to be legitimate news most of the time. I may look at a blog and consider it news, but I am more apt to trust a larger mainstream news source due to the accountability they must maintain and their access to the resources necessary to find the truth. However, Josh's work still deserved to receive the same type of respect of a journalist.
I think it is great that Josh has received support from the Society for Professional Journalists because that adds the necessary credibility to change this media related issue. The only way Josh will be successful with changing the way independent journalists like himself are treated is if he does get some backing from more credible sources that are very well known in the journalism world. Unfortunately, he hasn't received very much support from mainstream media.
While they have at least covered the stories about Josh, they haven't chosen a specific side.
I am happy to hear that even though journalism is becoming more online based that journalistic ethics are still being upheld. It is refreshing to hear that a young journalist is willing to sacrifice for journalism and the first amendment.