Journalist/Curator…what’s your opinion?

I had never before thought of journalists as being curators; a great article by Shari Weiss http://sharisax.com/2011/03/22/is-curation-the-future-of-journalism/ inspired me to research it further. What first comes to mind when I hear the term “curator” is a museum curator but, after looking into the exact definition of the term curator, I now don’t see how journalists could not be called curators.

cu·ra·tor

noun \ˈkyu̇r-ˌā-tər, kyu̇-ˈrā-, ˈkyu̇r-ə-\

Definition: One who has the care and superintendence of something; especially one in charge of a museum, zoo, or other place of exhibit. Origin: Latin, from curare to care, from cura care.

Definition derived from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/curator

Journalists care about and supervise the information they release to the public [at least they should 🙂 ]. They organize the information they have compiled into a nice little package for the reader. I feel it takes a lot of effort to put together an article that will be read by many, I don’t feel it’s such an easy task.

Now, there are those who feel that the title of “curator” should exclusively be used for museum curators. I somewhat understand this…as Christy Barksdale brought out in her article; Content Curation: Bringing Order to Information Overload, many museum curators have PhDs in their area of expertise, and believe that it is only with the highest level of education, and many years of research and experience, that one can be a true curator. Museum curators put forth a lot of time and effort to get that title, so like I said; I can somewhat see why they would be irritated if their title could easily be given to journalists.

Christy Barksdale also points out that merely sharing information over social networks is not curation; I agree. Spitting out mindless information on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter is not exactly curating information. But, when someone takes the time to research and put together a well thought out article I view this as curation.

But, honestly…we can go back and forth on whether or not journalists should be called curators. I feel it’s only a word…why should we really give so much value to any title?? Is it really necessary?? I don’t think so…but, that’s only my opinion. I know there are many who will agree but, I also expect many to disagree too and that’s ok…we are all different and that’s the beauty of life.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. marianabra7
    Apr 07, 2011 @ 06:21:08

    Well… i enjoyed read your article. Like you i used to related the word curator as a person who works in a museum…. now we all have a new perspective to relate that word with journalism. Let’s keep learning… day by day… new things. Have a great week.

    Reply

  2. Champa
    Apr 07, 2011 @ 19:58:24

    Totally agree with you Vanessa. The idea of a curator being separate from a journalist doesn’t sit well with me too. After I realized there was such a “career option” I realized that I too am a curator technically but that doesn’t mean I can’t be a writer too. It’s one of those can’t-have-one-without-the-other situations. A curator is a journalist and vice versa, I believe. Question is, why do we differentiate between the two?

    Reply

  3. taniesharjourn65 blog
    Apr 08, 2011 @ 07:45:56

    i liked your take on everything. i personally can’t fully see the link between both curators and journalists, however after reading your piece I can see some of the connections, after reading Ms. Weiss’ piece and yours, I’m going to “copy” you and do some research of my own, so I can see things from a different perspective.

    Reply

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