By Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris
2.27.17: National – (Opinion/Politics): The time is now for American journalists who cover the White House to exhibit true solidarity and form a resistance to an enemy of the First Amendment. Typically, journalists aren’t to be made part of the story, but rather a conduit for it; yet, seemingly every day journalists are framed as the antagonist, while U.S. President Mr. Donald J. Trump –who is working tirelessly to delegitimize the American news media, particularly the outlets who write unfavorably of him – is portrayed as the bullied and put-upon protagonist. To reclaim the narrative, and reaffirm their dignity, journalists must intentionally put the spotlight on themselves and their work strike, even if it’s just for a day.
Fiscally speaking, some news media outlets may think they can’t afford a day where their White House reporters strike. Socially speaking, however, no news outlet can really afford not to. At a time of great resistance and civil unrest, a group that is increasingly becoming marginalized and disenfranchised mustn’t remain dormant and passive, or they’ll be pushed to the shadows of society.
Some news media outlets, after on Friday the White House appeared to blacklist certain companies – including but not limited to The New York Times, CNN, The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed – from an off-camera briefing, are fighting back with solidarity and a strike of sorts. The New Yorker noted, as per its Editor, that the publication will have no representative present at White House briefings until exclusions are ended. On Friday, upon realizing some outlets were left out of the briefing, a journalist from The Associated Press, and one from Time magazine, exited the room in protest.
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Media Matters for America has launched a petition on Move.Org urging the White House press corps to stand up for one another, even if that means boycotting briefings in solidarity. MMFA highlights that broadcast television networks in particular were indifferent to Mr. Trump’s apparent blacklist.
It’s clear that Mr. Trump is at war with the press, what’s unclear though is rather the news media industry at-large understands, and will accept, this reality, thus causing them to act and work differently.
Journalists who engage the fight by disengaging from the process won’t be without backup. On Sunday in New York City, protesters in a show of solidarity with the media gathered outside of NYT’s headquarters and marched to various media companies, including NBC’s headquarters. Even former President Mr. George W. Bush on Monday emphasized the importance of a free press.
“Media is indispensable to democracy,” he said to NBC’s Mr. Matt Lauer.
This moment is the new media’s to lose. It can either assert its power or relinquish it; it can either reclaim the story or continue to be the antagonist in someone else’s; it can either speak truth to power or have power speak lies without fear of truth’s appearance; it can either live abundantly and uphold democracy or die tragically, and upon its death give way to dictatorship.
The news media is a protected class treated now as the hunted. Indifference isn’t an option, only resistance and revolution will enable its preservation. There’s no other choice: the news media industry must stand together and fight back, because its life depends on it.
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Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
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