Sunday, August 19, 2018

In response to Trump, American newspapers unite to defend freedom of the press
            To insist that the truths you do not like are 'false news' is dangerous to democracy, and calling journalists 'enemies of the people' is dangerous," writes the New York Times. More than 200 newspapers joined the campaign

 "Journalists are not the enemy": Revolting with Donald Trump, many US newspapers responded on Thursday (16) by publishing coordinated editorials to insist on the importance of press freedom.
Led by the Boston Globe, which launched a call accompanied by the hashtag #EnemyofNone, more than 200 newspapers across the country joined the campaign.

"Today in the United States we have a president who has created a mantra that members of the media who do not blatantly support the policies of the current US administration are the 'people's enemy,'" the Globe editorial said.
"This is one of the many lies this president has thrown, as well as a charlatan of yesteryear who threw a 'magic in the water' powder over a hopeful crowd," he added in an article titled "Journalists Are not the Enemy."
Trump's actions are also spurring strong leaders like Vladimir Putin in Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey to treat journalists as enemies, the Globe argued.
The New York Times, one of Trump's most frequent critics, has published a seven-paragraph editorial under a huge, all-capital title that says "A FREE PRESS NEEDS YOU" and the statement that it is only It's just that people criticize the press when it does something bad.
"But to insist that the truths you do not like are 'false news' is dangerous to the blood of democracy, and calling journalists 'enemies of the people' is dangerous, period," the Times wrote.
The initiative is taken at a particular time: Trump multiplies attacks against the media, regularly qualifying them as "Fake News" against any information that might displease him.
For advocates of press freedom, this rhetoric threatens the First Amendment to the American Constitution, which protects the sacrosanct freedom of expression and press.
Some believe that Trump's comments sparked threats against journalists covering their events and could also create a climate of hostility that opened the door to violent attacks, such as the one at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, at the end of June, when five people were murdered by a gunslinger who had a conflicting relationship with the vehicle.
Other media have defended their role by stressing that it is a job that saves the American taxpayer time.
"Journalists cover tedious government meetings and decipher formulas for funding public schools so this does not have to be done" by the reader, says the Arizona Daily Star. "It's not as basic as the First Amendment, but it can be useful."
Limited Initiative
This Thursday, Trump made a new attack through his favorite network, Twitter: "PRESS FAKE NEWS IS THE OPPOSITION PARTY. This is too bad for our Great Country ... BUT WE ARE WINNING!" wrote in his account.
The president's supporters saw the initiative as another reason for criticism.
"The media are deliberately and publicly attacking" realDonaldTrump "and against" half the country that supports it. "And the media wonder why we think it is false news," wrote Mike Huckabee, ex. - Republican governor and columnist of the conservative channel Fox News.
"I do not think the press should sit idly by and suffer, you have to defend yourself when the most powerful man in the world tries to undermine the First Amendment," said Ken Paulson, former USA Today editor and "First Amendment Center" at Newseum, the Journalism Museum in Washington.
However, it mitigates the scope of the initiative: "People who read editorials need not be persuaded."
Paulson expressed the view that, in today's conflictive context, the most appropriate for the media is to develop a broader market campaign in which they emphasize the importance of freedom of the press as a core value.
For James Freeman, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal - an economic newspaper owned by tycoon Rupert Murdoch, the president's ally - this move "is probably not the best way to grow readership among right-wing voters."
Dan Kennedy, a professor of journalism at Northeastern University, has no doubt that Trump's supporters will see this "further proof that the press acts as a member of the Resistance."
Even critics of Trump doubt the benefits of the campaign. Like Jack Shafer, of the specialized Politico, who believes that coordinated effort "will certainly have a counterproductive effect."
According to a recent survey by Ipsos, 43 percent of Republican citizens think the president should have the authority to close media outlets that present "misconduct.

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