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Newspapers: Trump's Attack on Press "Dangerous"

At rallies across the country, President Donald Trump has called some stories in the press "fake news." (actualwheat/Twenty20)
At rallies across the country, President Donald Trump has called some stories in the press "fake news." (actualwheat/Twenty20)
August 16, 2018

EUGENE, Ore. – Newspapers in Oregon and across the country on Thursday are publishing editorials promoting freedom of the press in response to President Donald Trump's persistent attacks on the media.

The Boston Globe coordinated the effort and has been joined by big newspapers such as The New York Times, The Denver Post and the Chicago Sun-Times, as well as regional papers.

The Eugene Weekly also is publishing an editorial in its opinion section.

Bob Keefer, the paper's art editor, helped write the piece and says the media need to put a sharp focus on Trump's war with the country's purveyors of information.

"That's very, very dangerous, first off, I mean, to the people who produce the news personally and, second, to the institution of democracy,” he states. “We need the news."

Other papers in Oregon, including the Cannon Beach Gazette and the Hillsboro Tribune also are publishing editorials. The Oregonian in Portland will publish a piece online and over the weekend engage with readers about the state of the press.

Trump frequently has called the press the "enemy of the people" and "fake news."

About 350 newspapers had joined this effort as of Wednesday.

Keefer says the country would suffer without a free press.

"The public becomes increasingly less well informed and becomes increasingly tribal and partisan to the point that you have real rifts in society,” he points out. “I think we're reaching that point now and it's frightening."

The Radio Television Digital News Association also has joined with newspapers, encouraging TV and radio stations to release editorials denouncing attacks on the media.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR