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?