Donald Trump Will Make Journalism Great Again.
The President of the United States has referred to reporters as America’s enemies—despite the fact that most reporters covering him are Americans.
He calls stories which question his administration “fake news.”
His press secretary has barred certain news organizations from so-called “gaggles” at the White House.
The traditional news media is up in arms.
I think it’s the best thing ever for journalism
Donald Trump’s war on the press has proven to be very popular with much of the public, especially his base. The media is an easy target. Few institutions inspire as much disdain, except for maybe Congress and lawyers.
This disdain is not without merit. With so many media outlets to choose from for information (a good thing, in my opinion), it’s become difficult to stand out. In some instances, reporters appear to skew the facts to fit a narrative and grab headlines. Occasionally, they report things which are completely false, whether intentionally or not, like the “missing” bust of MLK in the Oval Office.
I’ve been in this business for over 30 years, inspired as a kid by the Watergate scoop. There are plenty of potential Woodwards and Bernsteins out there. Unfortunately, the media landscape has become overpopulated by those who want to be famous or popular. These are reporters who like being on TV and who like hanging out with the rich and powerful.
It’s time for them to go
My hope is that the Trump administration’s combat with the press will wash away reporters who are lazy, reporters who care too much for accolades, and replace them with reporters who don’t care what anyone thinks and have only one mission: find the truth. This will be good for journalism, good for America.
I want opposition from the press and the President. I want opposition from the press and Congress, from the judiciary. One of the most important jobs of journalism is to police the powerful. Yes, in every news organization, you need people who become buddies with those in power in order to gain information—they grab a beer together or attend a party. We already have enough of those. We need more steely-eyed reporters who are relentless in the pursuit of the facts, no matter what the cost.
Recently a journalism professor at the University of Southern California said students were stopping him, worried about pursuing a career in the field. Folks, this is the best time to get into the news biz. It is ripe for disruption.
The stage is set for the next era of great journalism. President Trump may not realize he’s unleashed his worst nightmare.