On Thursday, American newspapers responded to the Boston Globe's call to defend a pillar of democracy: freedom of the press.
The editorials have been noticed. President Trump tweeted this morning that "the Globe is in COLLUSION with other papers on free press."
Here's what newspapers in our region and beyond wrote about the importance of the press.
Getting your "news" from social media differs greatly from getting it from established news media.
News media, if they at all value their reputations, must verify the information they're getting. Rumor doesn't make it. A person saying, "What I heard is …" isn't close.
A reliable source is someone who not only claims to know, but is in a position to know and has established trust with the media. And, if possible, verifying the information from a second reliable source is preferable and is routinely attempted before releasing it to the public. Social media doesn't do this, and neither does the so-called "tabloid media." Read more.
Unable to carry on in the light, the president attempts to drag us all into a dark labyrinth where rules don't apply and some vacant concept of winning seems attainable. This is the playground of "alternative facts."
But news organizations do not play in that dark playground. They perform in the light, and as such they are not the "enemy of the people" but precisely the opposite. Read more.
President Donald Trump's anti-press rhetoric is "very close to inciting violence," warns the departing United Nations human rights commissioner. Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein, of Jordan, told The Guardian that the attacks on the press could lead to journalists censoring themselves or being attacked. And they're encouraging authoritarian leaders to crack down on media overseas with newfound aggression. Read more.
So who or what are we really the enemy of?
We are, at the Sun-Times, the enemy of unchecked authority and undeserved privilege. We are the enemy of self-entitlement. We are the enemy of the notion that the only way up is to hold somebody else down.
We are the enemy of nothing but "thoughts and prayers" when children are slaughtered. We are the enemy of faked-up outrage.
We are the enemy of deadly streets and violent gangs. We are the enemy of thugs who shoot into crowds.
We are the enemy of the societal failings of our city and country that have shaped the thugs and given them space. We are the enemy, that is to say, of dead-end jobs and no jobs, bad schools, racism, bad parenting and people who look away. Read more.
Trump can't outlaw the press from doing its job here, of course. But the model of inciting his supporters in this regard is how 21st-century authoritarians like Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan operate; you don't need formal censorship to strangle a supply of information. Read more.
The media's job isn't to stroke anyone's ego. And it shouldn't blindly reinforce any political party's worldview.
The news media's job is to hold a mirror up to the world, to tell the truth and to put events into context, so that "we, the people" can make wise and informed decisions. The job of the media is to help the people hold their government accountable. Read more.
Like Putin, or Stalin, Trump knows he doesn't need to convince his base that everything he says is true; just that everybody else is a liar, including the press that fact-checks him. Because when people believe that the real truth is unknowable, they grow cynical, and prefer to tune out and believe no one. Read more.
We aren't perfect, and when we make errors, we correct them. We have not seen that policy in action at the White House. Read more.
The Philadelphia Tribune, America's oldest continuously published newspaper owned and operated by African Americans, has joined in this effort because we see the president's hateful rhetoric not only as an assault on the freedom of the press, but an attack on democracy itself.
It is time to stand up to Trump's assault on one of the key tenets of our democracy — a free press. Read more.
"No, we are not the "enemy of the people." We feel so strongly that The Morning Call decided to write a rare editorial. While we value our independence as a news organization, today we stand with many other newspapers across the country publishing editorials to defend our profession." Read more.
The adversarial nature of journalism is to ask questions, challenge the status quo, be skeptical of motives and statements, dig past the "official" versions of events, give a voice to those whom power would silence and to publish unpleasant truths .
That can sometimes make it seem that we're not on your side — or on the side of the country. But the howls of outrage that sometime greet our work usually means we're on target, not that we're "fake." Read more.
"When the president attacks a journalist employed by a national news organization, he is giving permission to other elected officials to deride journalists and to devalue press freedom.
Journalists and elected officials shouldn't be pals. But they should have a mutual understanding of the respective roles they play. Elected officials are charged with doing the public's business. Journalists report on how elected officials go about the people's business and how they spend taxpayer money. This is the case at every level of government." Read more.
The press is not above criticism. But if the president wants to take issue with the media, he should call out specific examples rather than labeling all of us "the enemy of the people." The president's name-calling of the press puts reporters at risk of attack. And labeling every fact he dislikes "fake news" makes it more difficult for Americans to civilly discuss their differences. Read more.
Individuals, in unfettered debate armed with independent facts, could identify values and self-govern at the ballot box. The press informs those deliberations by asking questions and reporting the truth without fear of government reprisal. The alternative is what we fought to escape — letting rulers impose their truth on us. Read more.
It is no coincidence that this newspaper's best work since its founding in 1885 has been produced by journalists who dared, in one way or another, to shine a light on societal injustices, corruption, the ravages of war, poverty and natural disasters while adhering to bedrock principles of truth and fairness. Read more.
Quoting Jan Larson, professor and chair for the UW-Eau Claire Department of Communication and Journalism: