By LAUREN EBBEN, Staff Reporter ¦
Throughout his presidential campaign, Donald Trump was known for repeatedly attacking the media and press, claiming “fake news,’ whenever coverage of him was unfavorable, or news outlets reported on something he didn’t agree with. It was a belief that continued after he was elected into office. In early 2017, President Trump tweeted “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!”
The increasing number of insults and tirades against the press is exhausting to listen to, and I’m not the only one who’s getting tired of it.
According to an article by the “Washington Post,” colleges across the country have seen an increase in applications to journalism schools and programs, “a Trump effect,” the article called it.
I think there is some kind of innate stubbornness in people that’s causing this. The most important job of a journalist is to inform his or her audience about current events, to produce a piece of news as unbiased as possible that allows the audience to come to their own conclusions.
Yet, how can journalists do their job if there are people like Trump constantly bashing on their work? What do you do when people say you aren’t good enough? As evident by the increased enrollment, you prove those people wrong.
But it isn’t just colleges, news outlets themselves have started fighting back.
In response to the backlash journalists are facing, “The Boston Globe” asked editorial boards around the country to write articles supporting free press.
More than 400 news outlets submitted articles, from Maryland to Arizona, all writing about the importance of journalism. These articles were published online in August, with updates to the site as more articles are submitted. “New York Times” publisher A.G. Sulzberger even met with President Trump himself over the president’s insistence that journalists were the “enemy.” Sulzberger was concerned Trump’s attacks on journalism were “contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence,” according to a statement about the meeting.
I imagine it was an unstoppable force meets an immovable object kind of situation in that meeting room. It didn’t do much good. Trump continues to preach about the “enemy of the American people.”
But it’s this increased interest in journalism among college students that could change it all. Freedom of press is a fundamental part of our democracy. But it cannot reach its fullest potential if no one is there willing to support it.
So let’s make the “Trump effect” mean something. Give the field of journalism more, accurate voices. Give it a better chance to make a difference.