Newspapers tell readers: ‘We are not the enemy’


SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) –  Readers may not have connected the dots immediately.

But it soon became apparent on social media.  More than 350 newspapers across the country banded together to respond to President Trump’s stump message that the media “is the enemy of the people.”   Several newspapers in Utah also joined in.

In Ogden, the Standard-Examiner reader saw the following in the opinion page:  “The president needs to end his ‘fake news’ catch-all phrase.”
Provo’s Daily Herald had “The Daily Herald is not ‘fake news.'”

“We want people to know that we are not their enemies,” said Kurt Hansen of the Daily Herald.  “We are not.  I wouldn’t call it their allies either because we are objective as journalists.”

The Deseret News reprinted the first amendment on its opinion page.

And the Salt Lake Tribune opinion page read “not the enemy, the president is wrong about the press.”

“The press is an institution that is independent of the government, independent of the presidency and is on the side of the people,” said George Pyle, editorial page editor with the Salt Lake Tribune. 

Spearheaded by the Boston Globe, more than 350 newspapers across the country told their readers, the press is not the enemy.  
President Trump has been at war with the media since his campaign started but recently turned up the negative rhetoric against the media.

“They (media) are the enemy of the people,” he said at one gathering.  

On a different occasion, President Trump said: “they (media) are the fake, fake, disgusting news.”

The president of Utah’s Society of Professional Journalists said the media campaign can be seen as a wake-up call.

“It’s important for people to realize the role the media plays in their lives, their everyday lives,” said Eric Peterson.

And that’s what the Daily Herald takes pride in.

“We are there to report the news and help our community to be informed as possible,”  Hansen said.

And just in case the President forgot about the first amendment guaranteeing the freedom of the press, newspapers were there to remind him of that.

“Most people don’t want a free press,” said George Pyle.  “They want a press that fulfills their prejudices and they look at that and say that’s what the press ought to be and it isn’t.  It needs to be independent.  Without that, we don’t have a democracy.”

Thursday, President Trump fired back against the Boston Globe calling what they started was a “collusion” against his presidency.

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