Does it mean traditional profession or authoritative profession? I looked it up in M/W, but I am not sure where it belongs.

What is unusual about journalism as a profession is its lack of independence. In theory, practitioners in the classic professions, like medicine or the clergy, contain the means of production in their heads and hands, and therefore do not have to work for a company or an employer. They can draw their income directly from their clients or patients. Because the professionals hold knowledge, moreover, their clients are dependent on them. Journalists hold knowledge, but it is not theoretical in nature; one might argue that the public depends on journalists in the same way that patients depend on doctors, but in practice a journalist can serve the public usually only by working for a news organization, which can fire her or him at will. Journalists’ income depends not on the public, but on the employing news organization, which often derives the large majority of its revenue from advertisers.


  • The quoted text says 'classic', not 'classical'. Apr 7 at 9:21
  • Ah, I'm sorry. I just mistyped, but the definition relates to classic. Apr 7 at 9:50
  • It means jobs that were traditionally regarded as 'the professions', like the examples they give. Apr 7 at 10:04
  • Where did you find anything to suggest that classic implies authoritative? Apr 7 at 10:39
  • I found it in Merriam Webster. classic: 4a AUTHENTIC, AUTHORITATIVE Apr 7 at 11:31

1 Answer 1


Does it mean traditional profession or authoritative profession?

"authoritative profession" doesn't make much sense here. It means "traditional profession".

A few definitions in dictionary.com:

  • traditional or typical
  • serving as a standard, model, or guide
  • basic; fundamental
  • definitive

From wiktionary:

  • Traditional; original

As a reader (who is not a professional economist or journalist) the term "classic professions" doesn't strike me as an idiom, but simply two regular English words being used with their normal meanings in a sentence.

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