Threat of Trump Administration on Journalists Freedoms

In the book Journalism After Snowden, Chapter 10 discusses political journalism in a networked age and the authors spoke to the fact that autocratic governments like those of Saudi Arabia and Egypt hamper journalism, but now we are seeing a push for authoritarian leaders in South Korea and Turkey to control the media. In our western society we don’t necessarily think that our leaders have that same will to propagate and control the media, but specifically with the Trump administration we are increasingly proved otherwise. The question the text poses is “how can journalists and publications strengthen their ability to report important news in the age of increasing interference.” (162) While the authors are specifically commenting on leaks, this brings me to a relevant discussion.

Living in the United States the average American is granted the peace of mind knowing that their media is not directly being regulated by their government. We have the First Amendment to prevent this specific situation, but with the Trump administration people are beginning to question the government’s ability to influence the media and the media’s ability to influence what we think about our government. With the protection of the First Amendment and actual malice, journalists should not fear to criticize government officials. Journalism in the current administration is constantly being tested and called out, constantly and specifically CNN.

Trump is calling that in order for a merger between AT&T and Time Warner to be approved that Time Warner drop CNN from it’s listing. A merger like this shouldn’t go through to begin with due to the threatening size of the conglomeration and the fact that it will only decrease the diversity in media. Journalists have been repeatedly attacked and called out during this administration and it just proves the direction we are headed if this merger is passed. This merger is an attempt to silence journalists and on numerous occasions Trump has called for libel laws to be “loosened”.  American journalists shouldn’t feel unsafe to report on government officials, but with the current trend of attacking the media and the actions that could be taken in this merger it is scary to think that our “western” society and freedom of thought could be threatened and compromised.

 

To read more about the merger: http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-att-cnn-20171113-story.html 

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