The Wilbert Group Blog

Media Moves: Trump vs. the Media

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We love getting – and sharing —  the latest newsroom scoop. In Media Moves, we highlight changes in journalism and the media both locally and nationally.

President Donald Trump’s battle with the media is unprecedented. News junkies wonder how this tension will change the media landscape, a landscape that already has been fundamentally altered in recent years due to technological and cultural shifts.

Here’s what some journalists have to say on the topic:

 

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Steve Adler, Editor-in-Chief at Reuters:

“It’s hardly surprising that the air is thick with questions and theories about how to cover the new Administration…So what is the Reuters answer?…We already know what to do because we do it every day, and we do it all over the world…I am perpetually proud of our work in places such as Turkey, the Philippines, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Thailand, China, Zimbabwe, and Russia, nations in which we sometimes encounter some combinat

ion of censorship, legal prosecution, visa denials, and even physical threats to our journalists. We respond to all of these by doing our best to protect our journalists, by recommitting ourselves to reporting fairly and honestly, by doggedly gathering hard-to-get information – and by remaining impartial. We write very rarely about ourselves and our troubles and very often about the issues that will make a difference in the businesses and lives of our readers and viewers.”

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Michael Wolff, columnist at USA Today:

“At the Wall Street Journal, there has been a debate about how to characterize, what many regard as, Trump’s disregard for the truth. Should his misstatements be labeled as outright lies? The Journal’s editor, Gerry Baker, argued, no, the facts should be clear, but a motive, to purposefully mislead, should not be assumed…The issue may not be Trump at all, but, the startling socio-political divide he’s revealed. It’s two nations opposed to each other, with the media almost entirely on one side of the divide. It’s not so much Trump that the media doesn’t know how to cover, but a social movement that sees the media as one of its significant enemies. In this, Trump’s behavior, his constant tweets, his tit for tats, his free associations, his high baloney quotient are all designed to disrupt the media foe, and, among other things, give it a nervous breakdown. In other words, the media is taking the Trump bait.”

Read the full article.

 Margaret Sullivan, media columnist at The Washington Post:

“One thing is certain in the presumptive era of President Trump. Journalists are going to have to be better — stronger, more courageous, stiffer-spined — than they’ve ever been…What we can’t do is buckle. What we can’t do is slink off and hope someone else will take

care of it. We have to keep doing our jobs of truth-telling, challenging power and holding those in power accountable — as the best journalists did during the campaign itself. We have to be willing to fight back.”

Read the full article.

Matthew Ingram, senior writer at Fortune:

“A weakened and increasingly marginalized traditional media, fighting with the tools of a previous era, surrounded by more nimble adversaries who know how to use social platforms for their own ends, and a president who is actively hostile to the traditional press. Not that long ago, it probably felt like things couldn’t get any worse for the media—but they just did.”

Read the full article.