With the impeachment inquiry happening in Washington D.C., there is a lot of insults slinging at the press. The press categorized as “fake news.” Fake news was an old phrase that President Trump took as his own. He uses it as a way to attack the media. Attacking stories and press companies he dislikes.

Craig Silverman, a media editor for Buzzfeed stated,  “The end of ‘fake news’ as I knew it came on Jan. 11, 2017, when Donald Trump — master of branding — redefined the term to mean, effectively, news reports he didn’t like…”

Lowering the usage of the term should be a priority of the media. Donald Trump should not have the power to dictate the definition of what is fake and what is not fake. It is important to the future of America. Journalists need to realize this and stop using the phrase fake news. Instead, the terms misinformation, mal-information, and disinformation should be the words that are being used. 

The systematic adoption by foreign powers of the term fake news and its new definition is scary. Trump made the word scarier than it already was. Before, fake news was misleading information perpetuated by fake websites. The term click-bait comes to mind for this. Click-bait has articles that have little substance and a hook. The sites make the reader want to read whatever the article is. 

The Trump effect

Trump has perpetuated a public opinion against liberal media outlets. He calls them out during press conferences. He calls them fake news and this is dangerous at the very least. I do not think the profession of journalism has ever experienced this kind of attack against it in the life of the United States.

As Franklin Roosevelt said, “Freedom of conscience, of education, of speech, of assembly are among the very fundamentals of democracy and all of them would be nullified should freedom of the press ever be successfully challenged.” The founding fathers also had a lot to say about the freedom of the press, which is under attack by Trump. 

Thomas Jefferson said, “I am… for freedom of the press, and against all violations of the Constitution to silence by force and not by reason the complaints or criticisms, just or unjust, of our citizens against the conduct of their agents.” Trump is trying to get rid of the press that does not cover him to his liking. It does not matter to him that the majority of them are being truthful and stating the facts. 

The Press War

The press is at war with Trump and it is a conflict that I hope the press wins. This is a systematic attack to undermine the fourth estate. Freedom of the press is a mandatory feature of a democracy. Without it, democracy will fail. The country is at a turning point for the upcoming 2020 election. I hope that the American people see through the efforts of foreign interests to keep Trump in office. 

Misinformation is contaminating the world and is making the world sick. I urge my readers to fact check their information. Do not rely on social media for your information. Try to understand that we as citizens should be vigilant in our consumption of media. We all need to come together. We need to make the country better than it is now. To say we were great is fine. Reverting back to what we once were, as Trump wants, is an action that we cannot allow to happen.