What’s an online journalist?

It may sound like a simple question, but Craig McGill says it wasn’t easy to find a definition for the term online or digital journalist:

I’ve asked a bunch of people this question over the last few days – inside and outside media circles – and the answers have ranged from “they type the stories up for the web” to “they get the story, the video, the audio and put it up on the site” and everything in between, which seems to make for a helluva lot of work.

The best definition I’ve found in response to McGill’s post is this one, from Bryan Murley:

To me, an online journalist is one who is comfortable with the online world. This is a journalist who understands that a story isn’t just print, or video, or audio, but a mixture of those things and others (maps, anyone?). I see an online journalist as one more in mindset than anything.

That should sound familiar to anyone who’s read the first chapter of Advancing the Story! In our view, online journalists aren’t defined by their technical skills but rather by the way they think about stories and how to tell them.