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Martin Baron, the executive editor of the Washington Post, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that while Americans may be "numb" to the more than 15,000 false claims made by President Trump and flagged by the Post, the newspaper still has a responsibility to hold "government officials accountable" through aggressive fact-checking.

The big picture: Baron's comments were part of a "Meet the Press" special on the weaponization of disinformation in the era of Trump. Throughout his presidency, Trump has launched an unprecedented number of attacks against the press, often labeling journalists as the "enemy of the people" and casting them as the opposition party.

  • Trump's presidency has coincided with a historic divide in trust toward the news media. Pew recorded in September 2018 a 44% gap between Democratic and Republican support for the media's role in holding government officials accountable.
  • Republicans and Democrats were almost equally likely to support the news media’s "watchdog" role during the Obama administration.

Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the New York Times, said on the "Meet the Press" that journalists once assumed people inherently trusted the media. Now, he said, journalists must prove their work in order to gain readers' trust.

  • "What I think we're going to have to get very aggressive at is to be really transparent, to assume nothing, and to make sure people know where we are, how we do our work, to show our work more aggressively. That's a different muscle for us," Baquet said.
  • Baquet cited the Washington Post's recent project on "The Afghanistan Papers," in which the newspaper published documents to support its reporting, as an example of how the media can "market" its journalism and defend the truth.

What's next: Going forward, Baron said journalists should be "open-minded" when they approach any story. "We should be listeners, more than talkers. And we should be willing to listen to everyone," Baron said.

  • "I think great journalists are empathetic, which means they listen, and they try to understand," Baquet said. "That's not pandering. And then, I think the most-powerful word, for me, is independent, independent, which means independent of everybody, by the way, except, except our principles and our readers."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."

5 hours ago - Health

U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. will impose new air travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, a new COVID strain first detected in South Africa, President Biden announced Friday.

The big picture: Air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will be restricted starting on Monday.