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NHPA members defend a free press

Portsmouth Herald: The president and the press

Today, a number of newspapers across the country are writing editorials to protest President Donald Trump’s increasing attacks on news organizations and reporters, and his repeated use of the term “enemies of the people” to describe the nation’s free press.

The initiative was proposed by a Boston Globe editorial page editor. Because news organizations are free, independent and uncensored, we expect the editorials will run the ideological gamut, from strong condemnation to equally ardent support for the president.

Just as the nation’s newspapers do not speak with one voice, Seacoast Media Group’s editorial board is, by design, ideologically diverse.

For 15 years, our editorial board has included citizen advisors who bring a broad range of political and life perspectives to our debates to ensure that we are not reaching our opinions in a bubble.

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Concord Monitor: Editorial: Enemies of the people

Trump is not the first world leader to denounce the press in such a way, and many of you recognize that his attacks echo those of some of history’s more despicable strongmen. But if you are among the 51 percent of Republicans who, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, agree with the president that journalists are indeed “the enemy of the people” and not “an important part of democracy,” we ask you to consider what this country might look like, what it might have become, had there not been a free press throughout its history. Such a nation could not have been the home of free people and fair elections, of that we are certain.

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The Telegraph of Nashua: Free press imperative

The frequent use of the term “fake news” has become reckless and damaging. It is treated as a catch-all phrase to discredit anything – including factual reporting – with which someone may not agree. Among those who continue to utilize and promote this “fake news” ideology is President Donald Trump.

For nearly 200 years, since Oct. 20, 1832, The Telegraph has been a trusted source of information in southern New Hampshire.

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Valley News: Editorial: The Wider Danger in Trump’s Troubling Attacks on Journalism

At various times, the president has described journalists as “very dangerous and sick people” who “don’t like our country”; as “the enemy of the people”; and as purveyors of “fake news” who purposely sow “great division and distrust” and “can also cause War.” During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump frequently called attention to the reporters covering his rallies, eliciting obscenities and taunts directed at them by his supporters. This demagoguery did not end with the election; Trump rally-goers heaped abuse on reporters recently in Florida and Ohio.

Trump is hardly the first president who has attempted to intimidate news organizations when they report developments unfavorable to the administration. But the language he employs is different in quality and quantity, and poses the very real danger that it will incite some troubled soul to an act of appalling violence. Emotions are running high these days, and Trump’s rhetoric fuels that fire not only at home but also abroad, where authoritarian leaders have seized on his “fake news” condemnation to undermine independent journalism in their own countries.

 

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InDepthNH.org: How can we be the enemy of the people when we are the people?

By Bob Charest

This is not the kind of column where I tell you why you should love the press, to trust in the press, and believe US, not THEM, because we are the good guys. I’m not going to tell you those other guys are bad, and you have to decide whoever “them” is: The guys further up or down the TV channel dial, the radio host you despise, the President.

The truth is (as I see it) you have to do the hard work as a consumer these days. Really hard work, because there are people who would have you believe all kinds of stuff. It’s not easy to live in a democracy. Sometimes it gets loud and messy. Sometimes you are asked to fight for it.

The Boston Globe has put out the call for editorial writers across the country to publish editorials today that lambast the “dangers of the administration’s assault on the press.”

Here’s what I believe: Everyone in the media has to work extra hard every day to earn and keep your trust. We live in times when foreign interests try to meddle in elections, when press agents circle the wagons to rewrite the narrative during some celebrity’s crisis, when the President tweets, lies, bitches and moans.

Sorry, but that’s the world we live in.

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