An anchor friend of mine in another market shares the other side. He, in our years of knowing each other, has shared the term "practioner of TV news" to describe some of the people who work in the business. To add some context to some of Jonathan's thoughts, I thought I'd share part of what my other friend shared with me today (a couple names/references have been deleted/changed to avoid any libel issues).
Hi, Ed... You asked: "... explain to me the difference between a
practioner of TV news and a journalist." Someone once told me that after high
school or college, whichever comes last, a person spends five years learning a
craft/trade/profession. Then, they spend the next five years learning the
"tricks" of the trade. And from then on, they just practice the tricks. A
journalist goes out and does productive work. A practitioner practices tricks.
To look at an example we might be able to use... It turns out that "anchor
A" (in a major market) is a practitioner and "B" is a journalist. The
saddest part of that example is....the practitioner is still making seven figures a
year even though "anchor A's" show pulled a 3 rating last night....and the
journalist is scrambling around trying to find venues.
I'm not saying this is right, just reality.