Editorial: the danger of anti-media rhetoric


Juleanna Culilap

Within the past few years there has been a steady rise in anti-media rhetoric. Wingspan shares its stance on how most of which can be tied to President Donald Trump and his administration.

In the last few years there has been a steady rise in anti-media rhetoric, most of which can be tied to President Donald Trump and his administration. Since the beginning of the 2016 election cycle, phrases like “fake news” have been used to launch a direct attack on various news publications. It’s gotten to the point where the president is no longer just attacking people he doesn’t agree with: he’s attacking journalism as a whole, and with it, the truth. 

For years now, Trump has been undermining the credibility of the media in an attempt to consolidate his followers’ faith. This has resulted in an almost cult-like mindset, where avid followers of the President will only believe what he has to say. Trump has mastered the art of not-so-subtle rhetoric, garnering a loyal base of supporters that will follow him through special counsel investigations, impeachment trials, and who knows what else. This type of thinking is dangerous for so many reasons, but mainly because it actively facilitates a distrust of the media.

There’s no questioning the increased polarization of media coverage, but most news sources have one agenda: the perusal of the truth. It is the job of journalists all across the country and the world to find the truth, and more often than not, the truth will upset one leader or another. This doesn’t mean our leaders can’t be upset by unflattering coverage of themselves, it just means they shouldn’t attack the credibility of the journalist/news outlet that ran the story. 

This  country was built on the philosophy of checks and balances, a system designed to make sure there are legal forces to keep the president and our leaders in check. Fortunately the Constitution also made sure we have a moral force to keep politicians in check: freedom of the press. The media has a duty to the American people to find the truth, and tell it like it is. 

Unbiased journalism doesn’t mean painting both sides out to be angels, it means the blatant truth. It means facts, data, and accurate quotes. Yes, there are news outlets who don’t follow those principles, and yes, those outlets should be shamed. However telling the country to stop believing in the media as a whole? That is dangerous and reckless.