The Press: What's a Professional, Pop?

Is journalism a profession, a trade, a game or a 6% investment? H. L. Mencken once gave his answer: "A journalist still lingers in the twilight zone, along with the trained nurse, the embalmer, the rev. clergy and the great majority of engineers. . . . [He] remains, for all his dreams, a hired man . . . and the hired man is not a professional man."

In Washington last week, the Wage & Hour Division was mooting the question again. It was trying to determine whether journalists are "professionals," thus not entitled to...

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