My admission into Drexel University in 2016 to study communication marked the beginning of my journalism career. Ironically, this was also the year President Donald Trump was elected into office.
Given the generally negative impression of journalists, many people have questioned my career choice. I have been told that since I am a journalist, I must be a liar and have a knack for twisting words around.
I expected this ignorance from people who do not truly know all about the ins and outs of the journalism field. However, I never thought the president of the United States would share the same sentiments. To be in charge of a country that has defended the freedom of speech and the press since its conception while being against the press is absolutely baffling.
Trump certainly does not try to hide his disdain for journalists. During his time in the presidential public light, he has coined the term “fake news,” and has repeatedly used it while accusing news outlets of reporting false information. He is not shy with throwing this term around, and seems to use it for any news that either is not in favor of the Trump administration or exposes a truth he wishes not to be revealed.
Also, Trump has made a point not to appear at either of the White House Correspondents’ Dinners that have occured while he has been in office. Trump is the first sitting president to miss the event since Ronald Reagan, who had good reason not to attend since he was recovering from being shot in an assassination attempt.
Journalists are not given the respect that they deserve; they have been undermined and disrespected for years. Countless journalists from around the world have been murdered for bravely uncovering the truth. The U.S. enjoys the right to freedom of the press granted in the First Amendment, but that right is compromised when the president does not seem to support it. It seems there has never been a former president who has fought against the press like Trump does.
People only know about what is happening in the world because of journalists who put in the work to go out in the field and report on something. Without journalism, ignorance would manifest society; however, it seems that is already happening.
I will not allow any disapproval of my career to make me any less proud of it. In fact, hearing Trump undermine journalism motivates me to work harder to become successful.
Every day, I acknowledge and appreciate the dedication and diligence of journalists. It makes me incredibly proud that I share the same profession with people who fight for the prevalence of truth and knowledge in the world.
Of course dishonest journalists are out there, but I refuse to let them tarnish the reputation of the honest majority.
However, I am afraid of Trump’s influence and his executive abilities. The Trump administration made a February 2017 White House press briefing invitation-only for news outlets that they personally chose to be there, including Breitbart News and the Washington Times — both of which are known to support Trump.
This is a flagrant example of Trump’s controlling nature and of how he essentially infringes on the right to free press.
Those who believe in journalism need to fight against the animosity directed towards it and support the spread of honest news by reading from reputable news organizations, like your local newspaper or large ones like the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.
Recently, a sinkhole appeared on the White House lawn in front of the press briefing room. This could be a symbolic representation of the decline of press under President Trump, but it’s probably just an act of nature that has no significance at all. However, I’d like to think it’s the former.
If Trump successfully contributes to the death of journalism, you can find me jumping into that sinkhole and never coming back out. I do not want to live in a world in which the truth is not manifest.