The time has arrived when those of us in the news business find ourselves subjects of the very news we report. Donald Trump is at war with the media, but that’s hardly surprising, as he is always at war with something or someone.
We cannot allow him to win. America and the world in general is counting on dedicated journalists—from small independents to large mainstream outlets—to make sure the integrity of the free press is protected.
Trump would like nothing more than to shut down the real media in favor fake news outlets such as Fox News or Breitbart. This is a sure sign of a dictatorship trying to happen. One of the first things a dictator does is to control the message of the media. They monitor news that goes against the ruling party. This was evident when Hitler ruled Nazi Germany and today in North Korea.
Controlling the media is a form of mind control. If the only voice citizens hear is the one of those in power, there is no opposition. It becomes easier to brainwash people.
We are living in an age where Trump’s tweets are passed off by some as real news—a time when it is okay to have “alternative facts.” Trump even said with a straight face that he had an historic number of attendees at his inauguration. In fact, he had about half the number that President Obama had. Pictures prove that fact.
An ordinary man would save himself further embarrassment and move on when presented with the facts. But we are not dealing with an ordinary man.
Trump also claimed that he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton not because more people voted for her, but because “millions of people” voted fraudulently.
This comes from a man who, despite winning the most electoral votes—and therefore, winning the election—is not content to win the presidency. He has to go back in time and try and rewrite history by making up fake, unverifiable stories.
So what should be done if the media were suddenly cut off from the White House? How could the media continue to serve the people and bring the truth to light?
Don’t rely on one single source for news. This is why small, independent and local news outlets are so important. They are not beholden to Washington politicians or lobbyists for their paychecks.
Keep your cell phones powered up to record videos and post to social media. Whether you are a professional journalist or not, you have a voice. Many injustices that might have otherwise gone unnoticed were exposed by citizen reporters.
And, please let’s stop calling our country “Donald Trump’s America.” Putting his name on it cheapens everything and puffs up his already overinflated ego. America belongs to all of us, as much as the right to free speech.