Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

‘What you need to know about the enemies of the American people the president warned you about’

Dallas Morning News

You might have heard: In a tweet on Friday, President Trump called the news media “the enemy of the American People” (@realDonaldTrump, Twitter), a term that’s “never before been uttered by the leader of the free world” (Washington Post)

But did you know: “In my job I oversee about 250 enemies of the people,” Dallas Morning News editor Mike Wilson writes. “We have enemies of the people who make maps, cover high school baseball, send tweets about the Cowboys, assign book reviews, critique restaurants, track North Texas home prices and write profiles of tech entrepreneurs. One enemy of the people spends his days talking to grieving families and carefully crafting the stories of the dead. … We have enemies of the American people who cover the nation’s most powerful and important leader, bearing witness to everything he says. Enemies of the people understand the importance of choosing the right words because they know the damage the wrong words can do.”

+ Trump is determined to exploit American distrust of “the media” to the hilt, “if only to distract his base from the disappointments that are sure to come,” David Remnick writes (New Yorker); WSJ’s Bret Stephens: “Ideologically, the president is trying to depose so-called mainstream media in favor of the media he likes — Breitbart News and the rest. Another way of making this point is to say that he’s trying to substitute news for propaganda, information for boosterism. … His objection is to objectivity itself” (Time)

+ Silence from the White House press office leaves journalists wondering “whether the non-responses are mere indifference or a strategy to discredit journalists by pointing to flaws after publication instead of beforehand” (Washington Post); Trump is giving credence to the conspiracy theories pushed by Infowars as he seeks to delegitimize news organizations, Jim Rutenberg writes (New York Times)

+ On covering the Trump administration: NPR has created a team dedicated to covering Trump’s conflicts of interest (Poynter); The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism asked readers for their ideas on covering powerful people who lie, receiving ideas such as focusing on what’s behind the statements rather than the statements themselves, avoid giving publicity to unreliable sources, and cover the people who support the people who make these statements (Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism)

Read More

Need to Know newsletter

The smart way to start your day

Each morning we scour the web for fresh useful insights in our Need to Know newsletter. Sign up below.

The American Press Institute

Our mission

We help transform news organizations for an audience-centered future.

Our programs for publishers focus on four things:

  • 1. Understand your audience
  • 2. Get your audience to pay
  • 3. Transform your culture
  • 4. Do your best journalism
  • Find out more about API »

API solutions for publishers

What we can do for you

API offers a suite of original tools and services for solving the biggest challenges in news:

  • Decide what beats to cover and how
  • Identify and develop the skills you need
  • Assess and improve your culture
  • Drive more reader revenue
  • Drive loyalty through accountability journalism
  • Make analytics work for you
  • Contact us to find out how »