It’s great to see a dialogue on new definitions emerge. We need them to seperate bloggers from the journalists that aren’t necessarily part of the big media machine.
Stand alone jounralist is a a term coined by Chris Nolan. Here’s his definition:
is someone who works to get the stories they find interesting told in an honest and forthright manner without the benefit of working for a larger news outlet. That doesn’t mean they’re objective or impartial; it means they’re honest about their points of view or assumptions. A stand alone journalist understands that the main job is to inform readers; and the ethics that salaried journalists have when it comes to fairness, accuracy and honesty aren’t just phrases. They’re a discipline for doing the work that needs to be done: getting your facts right, your assumptions validated, your arguments well grounded.
She goes on to say:
Stand alone journalists are the next iteration of on-line news professionals. They stand alone because they aren’t salaried by existing news outlets. They aren’t part of an institution but seek to become one. They may be freelancers–many are–but the work they do on the web isn’t under contract for a larger entity.
For more, Jay has the definitive guide over at PressThink.