by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The news media are re-considering the rules of journalism under the Trump administration, after a weekend of “alternative facts” and a debate over crowd size at President Trump’s inauguration.
Many journalists covering the new administration have made it clear that they think the new administration will require heightened scrutiny. But now, some are going further, and saying that traditional media practices need a page-one rewrite.
“[W]e need to develop new rules that adhere to the core values of honesty and respect for our audience,” wrote Buzzfeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith in the New York Times on Monday. “That means debunking falsehoods, and being transparent with readers about our process of reporting. Sometimes, it means publishing unverified information in a transparent way that informs our users of its provenance, its impact and why we trust or distrust it.” …
… After Trump’s transition press conference last week, Politico’s Jack Shafer said reporters should begin thinking of their jobs like combat and that “the carriers of press cards ought to start thinking of covering Trump’s Washington like a war zone, where conflict follows conflict, where the fog prevents the collection of reliable information directly from the combatants, where the assignment is a matter of life or death.”
If the press plan to rework the way it does business, the Trump team has signaled it’s also ready to make some changes. After meeting with CIA officials the same day, Trump said he’s in a “running war with the media.”
And in an interview Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway told the moderator, who was criticizing Sean Spicer, that it may be time to “rethink our relationship” with some in the news media.