Are the media really the ‘enemies of the people?’

As president of the United States, Donald Trump has engaged in a haphazard campaign to undermine the media through exaggerations and hyperbole. He calls the press the “enemy of the people,” as if he is dictator of the old Soviet Union.

In reality, a good journalist who is doing his or her job to hold those in power accountable is no more your enemy than your home’s watchdog, if you have the latter. Like Richard Nixon and some others did before him, the goal of this “enemy” language is to marginalize the press so the leader can control the information that people receive about his administration.

If we did not really know what our leaders are doing, then they can pass many laws harmful to most people. A strong, independent press has helped check questionable leaders before, such as Nixon and LBJ, and exposed stories that make a difference in our lives like the NSA’s increased efforts to spy on citizens.

Trump’s not the first to do this and won’t be the last. But you don’t have to fall for it. And if you work in public relations or want to see more publicity for your business or organization or just want to better understand the role of the press, it’s important to realize the pressures journalists face these days as they operate in a more combative environment.

Besides explaining the situation, I wrote this short book to give people better tips on how to work with the media and help get your business or organization covered. Each day, editors, reporters, producers, and managers are flooded with calls, emails, and letters that serve little use, wasting everyone’s time. And in today’s trimmer media environment, journalists have less time than ever to wade through emails and releases that don’t make any sense for them to pursue.

To read more on the book, click here. 

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