Commentary by Hailey Paulson
America may change based on the decisions President Elect Donald Trump wants to make during his presidency. One of these is centered on the information surrounding everyone today.
It is December and the United States is running towards the day Trump takes the White House. Trump has promised many changes during his term of presidency. One of the changes he is claiming to enforce is making a more restricted libel law, greatly contradicting the first amendment.
A libel law is basically a defamation process or aka making someone look bad through newspapers, picture, or basically anything. Trump was feeling the heat from this pre-election from journalists and as a result thinks that this law should be tightened.
Trump still has a huge effect on journalism regardless of the opportunity for restrictions with the libel law to pass.
Trump has been threatening and has sued a few newspapers like the “Washington Post” and the “New York Times.” Trump may be financially stable to take the blows of opening the bills from the court, but as time goes on, the newspapers will not.
The relationship between the president elect and journalists is teetering on the edge of a cliff and has already been pushed off a couple of times with incidents on Trump’s twitter account.
Journalism is centered around revealing the truth, but these days the industry of spreading news has not been as clear cut. The news agencies we are trusting are giving the news, but it is pretty easy for those agencies to slip in a few more positive or most of the time in Donald Trump’s case, negative wordings.
Trump does have a lot of negative stories, like his dealings with women, but news agencies seem to take advantage of the news to broadcast their own opinion in a slight, yet heavy influence.
The reader is given the news along with an atmosphere of bias based on the word choice of the writer. Whether the message is more positively or negatively spun depends entirely on which way the agency is bias towards.
For example, FOX news is highly Republican and has praised Trump’s efforts so far in his short lived life of being the elected President to take office. On the other hand, upon a visit to CNN.com I could count at least six articles in the Top Stories category that wrote in a pessimistic light of Trump. While these topics did happen and they were news, they were a lot more biased than they should have been.
Both of these highly viewed networks need to get there priorities in order and start reporting news without bias. I get to decide what I think is right or wrong, and I don’t want someone else influencing my decision about the topic at hand.
These networks are run by humans, therefore bias is expected, however in Trump’s case, it is overly donated in almost every agency that claims journalism. Perhaps this is one of the reasons Trumps has a fiery hate buried in his soul dedicated to journalists.
Nonetheless, the relationship between the Trump and journalists is shaky. True journalism needs to be embraced within every news agency. If real and truthful news is being reported, Trump can’t sue. The journalist covering him is illustrating him exactly as is without their input.
Covering Trump is a fearful thing to think about for most journalists. However if the truth is not reported, the citizens of America will never be properly informed. Journalists need to exercise their rights as press even if it is daunting.
“Stop saying you’re going to move to Canada. What you’ve got here is worth defending,” Jameel Jaffer, director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, wrote on Twitter.