Freedom of the press

Up-and-coming journalist fears for media under Trump

about Donald Trump becoming president, but what worries me the most is the possibility of what could happen to the freedom of the press in our country in the case of a Trump presidency.

Throughout his campaign, Trump has banned journalists from some news organizations by denying their press credential requests for campaign events.

Some of the news organizations blocked by Trump are The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Politico, The Huffington Post and The Des Moines Register.

He also threatened to ban The New York Times because he disliked the way they covered his campaign, according to CNN.

Just like the wall Trump claims he will build along the border with Mexico to keep illegal immigrants from crossing the border, Trump seeks to build a wall around his campaign to keep out the news organizations he dislikes by banning them from his campaign events.

The CNN article states that “Trump said in June that if elected president, he would not ban news outlets from the White House press briefing room,” and he did remove the bans from the blacklisted news organizations Sept. 8, so it’s possible that freedom of the press advocates are worried about nothing.

BAN — Donald Trump has placed restrictions on journalists who hold less than favorable opinions of him and his presidential campaign. Photo credit: Will Young

BAN — Donald Trump has placed restrictions on journalists who hold less than favorable opinions of him and his presidential campaign. Photo credit: Will Young

However, Trump is known as a liar and a man to switch back and forth in his political views, so there is little guarantee that if elected president, Trump will hold to what he said and allow all news outlets to have access to his briefings in the White House.

Rookie journalism or government students learn that the extent of the freedom of the press in a nation correlates with the freedom of the citizens of that nation.

As a Washington Post article states, “Freedom of the press is a key ingredient to a functioning democracy.” America’s founding fathers recognized this, including the freedom of the press in the first amendment and freely using the press to promote the ideals they strove to found the new nation upon.

If Trump becomes president, I worry as a future journalist about the freedom my fellow colleagues and I will have.

American journalists may have to face the strong possibility that if they speak out about Trump they will be targeted and mocked.

Yes, Trump may have removed the bans from news organizations he disliked, but he still set a dangerous precedent for what he could do if elected.

This could also set a precedent for future presidents who watch Trump trample over press freedom and decide to follow in his footsteps.

The freedom of the press we enjoy in America is often taken for granted, with many only believing journalism to be a difficult field in countries like North Korea.

If Trump becomes president, America could become a place where the freedom of the press becomes routinely abused. Having the media so tightly controlled by one person is a dangerous thought.

The press is a vital part of the way this country runs, and the media should not be limited by the ego of any one candidate.

Depiero is an opinion writer.

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