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Opinion: Trump Needs to Let Journalists do Their Jobs

Reggie Anglen Reggie Anglen Opinion: Trump Needs to Let Journalists do Their Jobs
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As journalists, we are concerned about the issues that face our nation.

As journalists, it is our duty to report on issues in a manner that is fair, balanced and impartial.

Mr. President, it is inconsistent with the principles of journalism organizations to act as activists for or against matters of a political nature. I understand the desire of some of my media brethren to speak out forcefully however, we are bound by our adherence to the ethics of journalism to abstain from endorsing political issues.

White Houses in the past, and the Trump White House in particular, should continue on the tradition of not banning news outlets that they deem a threat to the information grid – carry on the belief that the proper forum for journalists to express all views should be through the opinion/editorial sections of our respected news outlets, or the commentary segments through radio, television or social media. We believe you can best serve the news of the nation by providing information from all sides of the issue and trust in the ability of informed citizens to draw their own conclusions and make their own decisions.

As a citizen who is totally blind and a trained journalist, I urge the Trump White House to continue that rich tradition by using its vast resources in a fair, balanced and impartial manner that will enable all viewpoints – pro and con – to enter in to a dialogue that would best meet the needs of all Americans.

In America’s journalism schools we were trained to function at our best when we inform our communities and empower our citizens to make enlightened decisions, instead of acting as its advocates.

As the “New Sheriff” in town, you should allow every journalist to report the facts as neutral observers and allow the public to decide.

If the job is done correctly, our citizens can make an informed choice.

So, as the leader of the most powerful nation in the world – its time for you to be the Statesman you want us to believe you are – Shut down your “Trump Playhouse” and quit being a bully. It is time to be Commander-In-Chief.

– Reggie Anglen, President Emeritus of the Columbus Association of Black Journalists.

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  • Chas Chandler

    You’re thumb sucking. Trump isn’t prohibiting anyone from doing their jobs. Barack Obama routinely attacked FOX news and other conservative news outlets all the while holding private meetings with favored liberal propagandists and news outlets. I guess when left wing Democrats do it, it’s OK. The media as a whole are the group not doing their jobs. The media see Russian spy’s like they see clouds in their coffee based on nothing but Democrat rumors and innuendo. The media as a matter of course spiked new stories that were harmful to the Obama administration and have been doing that for other Democrat administrations since well, forever. All Trump is doing is calling out the glaring hypocrisy and arrogance of our vaunted National press corp and the group who can dish it out without regard to truth or objectivity now have their feelings hurt and want everyone to feel sorry for them.

    • Michael Corey

      Hi Chas,

      Your parallel to the Obama Administration is not rooted in reality. Conflating criticism of a political network–remember, Fox News has donated money to Republicans and many of its personalities campaign for Republicans, something no actual news network does–with Trump’s brandishing the media as “the enemy of the American people” is outrageous, dangerous, and irresponsible.

      Stop it.

      • Chas Chandler

        Hi Mike,

        I’m sitting on my sofa watching the CBJ against the Rangers. I hope you’re enjoying your Sunday as well. I read your response and once again you’re missing the point of my original reply. It doesn’t matter what Trump says or does. Unlike Obama, he has no one on his side to enforce any vendettas again the media.Unlike Obama, he’s not trying to stop the media from anything. The media, including CU, has bought full in on an open borders, globalist agenda, something Trump is dead set against. To hell with the security of the American people. Surely you’ve had to take notice of the excuses to explain away Islamic terrorist attacks in our country. The amount of crime being committed by Illegals is staggering, yet all the media covers are the protests against enforcing our immigration laws. When over 90% of journalists donate too and vote for one political party, you get what we have, a corrupt, biased media who answers to no one and isn’t held accountable by anybody…until now….

  • Chas Chandler

    ..

  • hometown

    There’s a difference between a public relations marketing department and a free press.

  • Fur614

    Whether intended or not, the title alone implies CU has a left leaning bend. Even if there is no party affiliation at CU, one part of the story scolds POTUS and overall seems one sided. With the country so divided, I’m always amazed at how many companies take a stance or imply a stance that could offend 50% of their customers/readers. Can that many companies survive with that much less business?

    • 1. It’s clearly labeled as an opinion piece. Most news outlets publish opinion pieces. This isn’t an uncommon practice.

      2. Most customers/readers can read an opinion piece, choose to agree or disagree with it, and will continue to read additional articles in order to be well informed as to what’s going on in their community. You’re making a huge assumption if you think that everyone who reads an opinion piece that they disagree with is that easily offended.

      3. According to official election results, Trump received just shy of 34 percent of the vote in Franklin County. Of course, our audience ranges outside the county, not all citizens of Franklin County voted, and our audience generally skews younger (which skews democrat according to national polling results) but it’s the easiest way to take a quick political temperature of the local area. Assuming that Trump voters in Franklin County are happy with the job he’s doing (national approval ratings indicate that people are not happy with his performance so far), then I’d probably guesstimate that somewhere between 15 and 30 percent of our readers might disagree with an opinion piece that criticizes Trump. A far cry from 50 percent.

      4. Of course, all of this is a moot point, because I can just look at our website analytics and see that our unique visitors are up by over 10% so far in 2017 compared to the same period a year ago. So no need for you to fret about “less business” here at CU. We appreciate your concern though!

      • Fur614

        I thoroughly enjoy the site and I’m on it everyday and will continue to visit because I find value in reports on local construction, restaurant reviews, things to do, etc. The OpEd piece seems like it’s a diversion from CU’s core value, so it caught my attention. Glad to see your visitors are up 10%. I’m sure you work extremely hard to achieve it. Personally, when I see political posts these days, I just leave the site immediately, regardless of which party it supports.

        I get it that it’s an OpEd and one can choose to read or not to read. No biggie. Free Press, free country. I love that! Just hope these types of articles don’t gain momentum to cater to your young viewers at the risk of losing “other” visitors who do what I do when they see politics on a site that focuses on providing great content on exciting things in Cbus.

        • FWIW… our OpEd archives date back to 2010. They’ve been a part of our core value for the better part of seven years and have covered a wide variety of topics and have generally been well received by all types of readers.

          The unfortunate divisiveness that our country has faced on a national political level has brought out new questions about our political coverage (both hard news and OpEd piece), even though nothing has really changed in terms of our core mission at CU. We’ll continue to inform and engage with the community, regardless. ;)

          • cucbus

            You are obviously free to do what you want with your website and I’m not trying to ridicule you are complain about content, but what I would say is be cautious about becoming a liberal echo chamber. When it comes to politics I am independent, so I’m more than willing to hear both sides of the story.

            What I would hate to see, and I’ve started to get a sense of this happening here since the election, is this website becoming one that only publishes articles to appeal to ultra liberals. This specific article really has nothing to do with Columbus, so I’m not really sure what it’s doing here in the first place. I completely understand writing an OpEd piece on our own mayor’s policies or actions and taking one side or the other, but to write an article about that president which leans heavily to the left and has nothing to do with our city doesn’t really seem to be relevant to what this site is, or what this site has always been.

            I think OpEd pieces about our local politics is a great idea, but I think you should allow both sides and perspectives to be told. This website is great for city. It’s a great place to stay up to date on many different things happening here and it’s a great place for people to talk about such things. I understand you have your own political opinions just as we all do, but I would hate to see your opinions completely take over how you run this website. Again, I don’t want you think I’m telling you how to run your website, I just wanted to give you my opinion because I love it for what it has been and would hate to see it become your own personal outlet for your political opinions. Perhaps if you really enjoy writing about them you could create a specific site for that as I’m sure many people would visit it, but I would hate to see you drive away readers just so you can get your opinions out there.

          • “When it comes to politics I am independent, so I’m more than willing to hear both sides of the story.”

            Same here.

            “…only publishes articles to appeal to ultra liberals.”

            My independent, liberal and conservative friends all agree with me that a censorship of news media is a bad thing. The topic of this specific OpEd is certainly not ultra-liberal from what I can tell. Just because it’s directed as an open letter to Trump does not make the content “ultra liberal”.

            “I think you should allow both sides and perspectives to be told.”

            We do. If anyone submits a thoughtful OpEd on why Trump should be censoring the media, we’ll publish it. But no one has submitted that perspective to us as of yet.

            “…your own personal outlet for your political opinions…”

            I didn’t write this OpEd. Someone else did. I don’t write political opinion pieces.

          • Fur614

            Well said cucbus. If it’s on a site, it’s easily interpreted that the publisher endorses the content and opinion. If the publisher is truly politically independent, the OpEd piece would show both perspectives.

          • Stephen Francis

            I will say this, I’m not as bothered by the content, but 3 articles of photos on the same protest did annoy me. One would have been sufficient.

            I am in complete agreement though with cucbus that I would love to see more on the local front and politicians. We get enough national political stuff from every other news source. I generally skip anything national here. Honing it down to more about our local politics would make me read more.

            Perhaps starting with pinning the mayor down on the Chicago to Columbus rail since no other news agency seems to be able to get him to answer any questions about it

          • “I would love to see more on the local front and politicians.”

            Local politics are somewhat cyclical with election timeframes. Expect to see more as we approach the May primaries and November elections, as there are multiple City Council seats up for vote this year.

            In the meantime, here’s the local political archives. Plenty of coverage on local political issues: http://www.columbusunderground.com/tag/columbus-politics

          • Stephen Francis

            Thanks Walker. As a very regular reader, I had no idea you did local articles let alone had an archive for them! I’ve never seen those articles before and my opinion about wanting to see more local political reporting was completely unfounded. Eyes opened. -_-

    • jukied

      Are you suggesting that the online news blog that focuses on new local breweries, reviews Downtown restaurants and bars, posts and sponsors hipster community events, and posts updates of construction in Downtown and Short North has a liberal leaning biased? It’s almost like their readership is predominately young, liberal professionals who live in those areas and care about those things. I could just be speaking from personal biased, though. *sips artisan free-trade hot chocolate while eating a locally sourced organic bagel from a Short North bakery*

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