Aug 15, 2018 - Politics & Policy

What we're reading: Newsrooms launch campaign against Trump's anti-press rhetoric

The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump has painted the press as an "enemy of the people" throughout his presidency, consistently calling stories "fake news" and targeting specific outlets such as CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times for their coverage of his administration.

The big picture: Over 100 newsrooms around the country are launching a coordinated effort against the president's attacks on the press with a series of newspaper editorials pushing back agains the president's claims.

The backdrop: The Boston Globe is spearheading the effort the paper proposed earlier this month and said other publications were still signing on to join them as of Wednesday with more than 100 on board, CNN reports.

We are not the enemy
ā€” The San Jose Mercury News writes
  • The San Jose Mercury News goes on to say it was "shocking" that it would have to announce such a statement in a nation built on a free press.
  • The New York Times encourages people to subscribe to their local papers if they have not done so already and to praise them when they do well. Criticism is welcome in journalism, the editorial said, but calling news fake attacks the "lifeblood of democracy."
  • The St. Louis Post Dispatch calls journalists the "truest of patriots" and said the American people must not let Trump label journalists as "the enemy."
  • The Baltimore Sun's editorial notes the reporters at the Capital Gazette "gave their lives" for journalism's cause when they were attacked by a gunman in June.

The other side: Not all agreed with the sentiment, however. The Wall Street Journal columnist James Freeman noted that Trump, like every other American citizen, is entitled to free speech and that the Journal will not participate in the coalition of papers.

What's next: A small handful of editorials were released on Wednesday night, but plenty more are set to publish Thursday morning defending the media against Trump.

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