Q: How has journalism changed to adapt to the current political climate?

CNN chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, far left, questions Donald Trump during a post-election press conference in November 2018. Photograph: Erik S Lesser/EPA


This is a great question, not least because each of us is part of the answer—simply by participating in this news literacy course. While it’s become routine to hear elected officials — not just President Trump, but many others as well — refer to legitimate news outlets as “fake” or even worse, “the enemy of the people,” the fact is that the current political climate has been quite good for journalism. Despite the combative stance sometimes taken with reporters, as depicted above in a showdown between Trump and CNN’s Jim Acosta, some might even say that the president is making journalism great again. When reporters are constantly at risk of being charged with false or erroneous reporting, they guard against such allegations by being extra-diligent and double- and triple-checking their facts.

Unfortunately, this hostile environment means the news media also face unprecedented dangers . A 2018 article in the Atlantic describes how attacks on even school newspapers have increased since Trump took office and began his campaign against the news media that do not report favorably on his presidency. Like professional outlets, these student publications have largely improved as a result. Indeed, many schools are seeing increased enrollment in journalism and media literacy courses and greater dedication to producing the best journalism they can to more effectively counter unfounded claims of “fake news.”