The Press Is Not Our Enemy

Posted on February 21st, 2017 by

The library faculty is dismayed by President Trump’s recent public statement that the media is “the enemy of the American people.” We believe a free press is fundamentally important to the future of an American democracy. The First Amendment to the US Constitution wisely offers strong defense of journalists striving to write the “first draft of history.” The principles embraced by journalists spelled out in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics align with scholars’ ethical pursuit of truth and are particularly important when democracy is threatened.

Librarians fight for intellectual freedom by resisting censorship and supporting institutions that ensure the free flow of information and ideas. Our Statement on Intellectual Freedom, adopted in 2012, remains true today. We strongly support the important role the media plays serving the public interest by holding the powerful accountable.

For more information about the press and its role, see

image courtesy of Martin Sommer.

 


One Comment

  1. SECarlson says:

    Rather than react with dismay, in the interest of serious inquiry, shouldn’t the curious mind, committed to free speech and avoidance of censorship ask why Trump made what seems at first glance to be an outrageous statement? You would find I think, that the mainstream press has developed a mindset that is no longer neutral and quite consistently favors one particular perspective of the facts. To the extent that he feels the press is no longer objective and sees an unbiased press as essential to the American people’s ability to develop their own opinions free of bias of the press, one might this characterization of the main stream press as being an “enemy of the people.” On would then seek to determine whether this characterization was based in fact before reacting with dismay. Incidentally, there is no constitutional prohibition of the president criticizing the press nor of the press criticizing the president.