Journalism is a totally unregulated profession. It always has been and it should always be so, even when it fails miserably to do its job.
The dirty little secret about journalism is that you don’t need any special training to call yourself a journalist. You don’t need a license, you don’t need to join a union, and heck, you don’t even need a job or income to call yourself a journalist.
So, if you would happen to wake up someday disgruntled with your miserable life, you could grab a pen and a paper and write a news story. Once finished, you could declare yourself a journalist. It’s that easy. Well, almost.
Here’s a quick history of journalism in America from a little book published several years ago by the Indiana University Press.*