I came across the following paragraph in a news story:
There are about a dozen serious bidders for the 40 pounds of phone records, ranging from "checkbook journalists to the gold standard of American journalism," Sibley said. Attorneys for people who fear their names will become public are also after the records, he said.This is from Suspected 'D.C Madam' pleads not guilty.
What is the meaning of "checkbook journalists" and "gold standard of
American journalism"? Does it mean "small time" journalists as well as "big time journalists"?