“An Enemy of the People”

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Last week, several hundred U.S. newspapers wrote editorials explaining why the media is not “the enemy of the people,” despite the dangerous claims that the president continues to make indicating as much.

We saw firsthand some of the discussions that went into several of these editorials, and heard from many other newspapers that chose not to participate in the exercise. It was not an easy decision for these editors and publishers to make, attempting to put an end to dangerous rhetoric without alienating a percentage of their readership. But a newspaper, particularly a community newspaper, serves as watchful guardian for its citizens, separating fact from fiction in a time of social media rumors and “fake news.” Many editorials explained how the president’s remarks purposefully undermine the press’s ability to provide this service and, in some cases, put journalists in danger.

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