‘The Post-Journal’ Joins Press To Fight Trump

To The Reader’s Forum:

I was encouraged by The Post-Journal’s decision to join thousands of other newspapers across the country defending themselves against the President’s labeling of the press as the “enemy of the people.”

However, I do wonder where they have been for the last couple years as Trump and his cronies’ contempt for a free press has become increasingly dangerous. It worked well for him during his campaign, but now he is the most powerful man in the country, and lovers of free speech and democracy should beware. Leaders like him and Governor Cuomo are rarely fond of journalists whose job it is to hold them to account — that is to be expected.

But polls have shown that the “enemy of the people” rhetoric is working. A PBS/NPR poll showed that only 11 percent of the public has a “great deal of confidence” in the news media. Compare that with the nearly 80 percent approval of the news media in the post-Watergate years when journalists were bravely uncovering the Nixon Administration’s abuses of power. Real news publications are still doing the same jobs, but the relentless assault on their work has eroded our trust. We must not listen to the leaders who stand to benefit from our distrust in critical news coverage.

Now instead of relying on hardworking, legitimate news we listen to cable television carnival barkers or share fictitious posts with our friends on Facebook. Then we wonder why the country seems so divided. We are responsible for becoming informed citizens. That means supporting legitimate news outlets, especially at the local level, when our country and communities need it most. The White House’s attacks on the press are only getting louder and more vicious. I hope The Post-Journal and other papers continue to fight back hard.

Derek Smith