March 2017

Trump’s media criticism is disheartening

As an aspiring reporter, it has been quite troubling, to say the least, to hear the sentiments of President Donald Trump with regards to the media. Throughout his campaign and into his presidency thus far, he has shown a disdain for reporters who challenge his statements and positions, often labeling reports he doesn’t like as “fake news.”

As a person who relies on the media on a daily basis, I feel as though the type of rhetoric that Trump uses speaks volumes about his character. While a small number of people without professional standards but with access to modern technology do create false stories, it is unfair to paint all media outlets with that broad brush simply because they don’t consistently praise President Trump.

The president has demonized some media simply for stating the facts. He has accused prominent media outlets such as CNN and the New York Times as being “fake news.” These media are among the places I’ve always depended on for supplying balanced news; now they are in Trump’s focus as part of his war on the media.

The fact that these two media outlets were barred from a recent press gathering with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer is more than disheartening.  The media has an obligation to report fairly and honestly and, while they may often present President Trump in a negative light, the media has a right to present the president as a human being who is flawed.

The media would be doing a disservice to American citizens if they presented the commander-in-chief as a perfect individual because that’s when we begin to accept things that may not be as they seem.

As disappointing as recent events have been, I feel that the events have motivated me to be a journalist more than ever before.  Media has played such a role in my life that it’s a part of the fabric of my daily life, whether it be social media, local or national media.

Not only is reporting factual news important; it is essential to our democracy and a way for millions to remain informed. One of the main reasons that the media has been heavily involved in most of our lives is because we trust those networks to provide us with the best and most accurate information available, whether it is positive or negative.

The truth is unbiased and no individual in this country should be immune from criticism, especially if we want our country to improve.

— Monica Pittman