Being A Journalism Student In The Age Of Trump

It was the day of my journalism orientation, and I was sitting with new friends in an unfamiliar building. Professors spoke, imparting words of wisdom to their new pupils. One professor said something that I immediately jotted down in a notebook and have thought of often since that day: “Afflict the comfortable.” Those three words opened my eyes to a purpose of journalism that I hadn’t previously considered: that journalists are watchdogs, reporting on those in power (those who are “comfortable”) in a truthful and accurate manner. This role of journalists has always been a pillar of democracy, and it has become even more crucial in recent years, months, and even days, as Donald Trump campaigned, won the electoral college, and was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States of America. Here are just two recent events that come to mind when I think of journalists and Trump: his refusal to take a question from CNN at his press conference, referring to the network as “fake news,” and Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s comments wherein he told reporters what to write and used journalists as “hate objects.” Trump said that he has a “running war with the media.” I think he has a running war with the truth, and the fact that some journalists and news organizations are calling him out on his lies...

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