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Print Media: We Are Not "Enemy of the People"

The editor of Boise Weekly says he was compelled to act because of President Donald Trump's persistent pattern of attacks on the press. (cynthia1/Twenty20)
The editor of Boise Weekly says he was compelled to act because of President Donald Trump's persistent pattern of attacks on the press. (cynthia1/Twenty20)
August 16, 2018

BOISE, Idaho – Newspapers in Idaho 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.

Boise Weekly editor George Prentice printed his editorial on Wednesday. He says the divisive language Trump uses about the media is eroding a key pillar of democracy, and so his rhetoric has to be addressed.

"Sometimes even the simplest of messages need to be said – or, in this case, printed – with great clarity,” he states. “No, we're not your enemy. We never have been, we never will be."

Prentice says as an editor he was reluctant to react to the president, but he eventually felt the need to because of Trump's unending pattern of attacks on the media.

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

About 350 newspapers had joined this effort as of Wednesday.

Prentice praises the Boston Globe for coordinating the effort because it allows papers big and small to stand together.

"This is extremely unique that it is not necessarily a clarion call from The Washington Post or The New York Times or the Los Angeles Times,” he stresses. “That list gives as much credence and as big a platform to a small newspaper as it does to the most famous ones."

Prentice says it's important that each paper is writing an editorial through its own lens, because people look at and hear the words of the president differently in Boise than they do in Boston.

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 - ID