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Journalism Students Are More Motivated Than Ever Under Trump Regime

Donald Trump has discussed through his social media and speeches his dislike of the news media (c) Matt A.J. 2015

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Journalism Students Are More Motivated Than Ever Under Trump Regime

By Katie Sciortino SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — In President Donald Trump’s first 100 days of presidency, he has made it clear that he is not a big fan of the media. This is making future journalists more motivated than ever to do news reporting under the Trump regime.

“The press has become so dishonest that if we don’t talk about it, we are doing a tremendous disservice to the American people,” Trump said at a rally in February.

As a student studying journalism, I have a learned that great journalism is the unbiased pursuit of the truth. 

“The job of journalists, in what we learn here, is that your number one job is to tell the truth. That is what you’re doing,” Emily Adelman, a sophomore studying broadcast journalism at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication said.

Syracuse broadcast journalism major Olivia Liskowitz also sees her professors at the Newhouse School emphasizing the important foundations of good journalism.

“All of my professors in Newhouse are so about being accurate and using original sources and not misquoting anything and not being biased… so it’s really hard to listen to the president just crap on it all the time, because there really is a lot of integrity out there,” Liskowitz said.

Hearing President Trump bash the news media, a profession that I plan to join one day, really irritates me. In class we learn to always write the truth, and to hear someone, especially a dominant figure like the president of the United States, bash our profession, it makes me want to prove him wrong and do better. 

“Continue to prove him wrong by producing your best work and knowing for a fact that everything you put out is fact based and can be backed up,” Liskowitz said.

I had already placed upon myself the goal of producing the best journalism out there. It is now the journalists of tomorrow’s job to prove to President Trump that the news media are a necessity.  

Melissa Rule, a Syracuse sophomore studying newspaper and online journalism, said that she’s more motivated than ever to publish solid journalism in spite of the president attacking her future profession.

“I’m definitely more enraged than scared off. It makes me want to continue doing it, to find the truth,” Rule said. 

So now the question is, what can we, the journalists of tomorrow, do about this? We are motivated and enraged by how our President feels, but what should we do?

For Liskowitz, it means we need to do what we were planning on doing all along.

“If you write in a way that pretty much just presents the facts and allows the readers to interpret them for themselves there’s nothing that can be held against you,” Liskowitz said.

Walt Wasilewski is a professor in the Newhouse School for the newspaper and online journalism program. He teaches a class on perspectives on the news and emphasizes how well the news media are doing their jobs. Wasilewski said the new president has completely changed the way he approaches teaching journalism.

“Student’s don’t have an era to compare it to, there hasn’t been anything like this in quite awhile…It’s nearly a constitutional crisis,” Wasilewski said.

As journalists, we are protected by the First Amendment, that guarantees freedom of the press.

Mike Tirico, sports broadcaster for NBC, spoke to my class here at Syracuse University, and emphasized the importance of the First Amendment, and discussed the political atmosphere surrounding the media and the frequent mention of “fake news”.

“It’s not like the 19th amendment or the 13th, it’s the first. Why? Because it’s the most damn important. At least to us it is,” he explained.

Tirico explained the anti-media sentiment should only make us better journalists.

Backed by the First Amendment, journalists need to continue to tell the truth, which is what future journalists need to keep in mind as they enter the workforce. In addition to always reporting the truth, Walt Wasilewski believes that not backing down is just as important.

“What we need to do is tell the truth about it, to the best of our ability and we need to do it in a way that’s courageous, if not courageous, then without fear,” Wasilewski said.

So as far as I can see, the president’s efforts to discredit the news media may actually be backfiring. Future journalists will be entering the workforce under the Trump regime more motivated than ever to stand up to people in power and continue to report the truth. We will continue to report the news, and be as fair and unbiased as is humanly possible whether our president likes it or not.