SOS!

Did the death of the newspaper lead to the Trump presidency; or did the Trump presidency lead us into an age of poor, censored, and often fake journalism? Baym argues that tabloids set the stage for Trump’s presidency, as the death of the newspaper lead the public’s eyes and attention to cheap news media with sex-and-scandal headlines. I believe that even if Donald Trump was not portrayed as a man of fortune by the likes of People Magazine and The National Enquirer the fact that so much of the country was disconnected – from the government, from an understanding of the news, from each other – because of a loss of good and accurate journalism would have lead to a Trump presidency, regardless.

Tabloids, albeit available in every waiting room and grocery line in America – are not nearly as popular as people think, and people do not get riled up at the idea of voting for a rich man. They want to vote for someone who fits their ideals – and Trump did just that. I think accurate coverage of him would have changed the public’s outlook, which is why I think Ezra Klein’s mission at Vox – to help people understand the news – is so essential. If you are a “layman”, speaking in a journalist’s terms, you will not want to read an article that speaks above your education level. When publications like The National Enquirer make sense to you, you read it, plain and simple.

My biggest mission in journalism is writing about science in a way that people can understand, so they’re not so afraid of doctors and engineers – but feel like they have a say and understanding in what’s happening around them. Politics should be just the same. Just because an “embargo” is a complex concept doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t be able to understand it. The internet is an infinite resource and being able to link definitions or other articles really levels up the news game itself. It also means it takes a really really long time to read a Vox article (especially if it’s one of those ‘Here’s everything about’… explainer pieces) and not everyone has the time. Sure, utilizing the internet as a news tool seems great. But the biggest question remaining is that if we provide people with good journalism, will they seek it out? And will they even read it?

3 thoughts on “SOS!

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  1. I had an internship this summer writing articles about global poverty, and it was extremely difficult to write a 500 word piece that was both accessible and fully explained the topic I was covering. The organization I worked for wanted a lot of information packed into a single page of text. I understand why- people don’t have the time to read much more than that. This made covering issues that were complex, and therefore really needed to be covered/explained nearly impossible, especially on a tight deadline. My fellow interns and I all wrote a lot of informative (albeit, a little bland-due to the word limit) pieces, but a disproportionate quantity of the articles that actually got published were “feel good” stories that were easy to read, but didn’t contain a lot of substance.

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  2. I find the fact that someone would legitimately pick up the Inquirer hilarious. The covers and head lines are obviously fake and edited. I just can’t imagine someone would see one and think “yeah this has valuable information that will definitely improve my life.” Yes, I’ve been known to click through the Daily Mail on Snapchat, but I don’t believe any of it nor do I get my news from it. The Inquirer also attempts political news unlike the DM.

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  3. Both the death of newspapers and the advent of fake news happened before Trump even Obama with all the fake news that he was Jesus Christ incarnate In The Second Coming or some said he was The AntiChrist I mean some evangelicals did say that. However, it’s the way of the World, the natural World loves changes and cycles.

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