To my Wesleyan community, I want you to know that despite what you hear from President Donald Trump, the media, which includes myself, is NOT the enemy of the people.

This past July, Trump tweeted, “The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media,” following time he spent in Russia.

Later that month he tweeted, “The Fake News Media is going CRAZY,” he wrote. “They are totally unhinged and in many ways, after witnessing first hand the damage they do to so many innocent and decent people, I enjoy watching. In 7 years, when I am no longer in office, their ratings will dry up and they will be gone!”

Trump seems to be the only one unhinged. The phrase “enemy of the people” goes back in history to when it was used in Nazi Germany and during the Soviet Communist Party by Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Lenin.

President Donald Trump has often referred to the media as the “enemy of the people.” This phrase was also used by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and Joseph Goebbels in Nazi Germany.
Graphic by Hannah Lathen

In August, Trump tweeted, “The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE. I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People,” he wrote. “They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!”

“Fake news” seems to be one of Trump’s favorite phrases to throw around and they are usually directed at outlets such as CNN and NBC.

His tantrums toward the media have negative consequences not on just the media, but all of the American people. His words lead the people having serious distrust in the industry.

As a student journalist who aspires to go into media, I have a great amount of respect for those who work extremely hard to keep the public informed on what is happening around the world.

Trump’s words disgust me because so many people are actively trying to reveal to the world the truth about what is happening and because Trump has a skewed view of that, journalist’ work is being discredited.

The role of journalists is crucial to a functioning society simply because people need to know what is going on. A free press is one of the most important rights one can have in this country that is why it is in the first amendment.

At every student newspaper I have worked at, it is engrained in us to tell stories truthfully and it is taken very seriously.

The first thing I learned in one of my introductions to journalism classes was to maintain truth and accuracy in my work.

While journalists strive to be fair and accurate, mistakes happen but correcting them is also a big part of the job.

The media plays a significant role in society and with or without the help of Trump, I would like to see more appreciation for the journalists who are trying to put spotlights on the truth. The sole reason I decided to make this my career is because I value awareness and I want to make sure the public is exposed to as much truth as possible.

I only hope that one day, people on both sides see the hatred Trump is spewing and decide to view things on their own and form opinions based on facts.

Do not take Trump’s word for it. The only “fake news” being put out is that the media is the enemy of the people.

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Hannah Lathen

Hannah Lathen is a senior at Texas Wesleyan with plans to change the world through her work in journalism. Lathen was raised right here in Fort Worth and found her passion for storytelling while working as managing editor for Tarrant County College’s newspaper, The Collegian. Part of her passion for journalism also comes from her drive to make sure the public knows the truth about what is happening around them. Through her writing, Lathen hopes to increase the awareness of those around her. She finds inspiration from prominent figures such as John F. Kennedy all the way to Kim Kardashian West.

Lathen spends her free time jamming out at concerts and protesting unprogressive ideals.

After college, Lathen wants to transition from journalism into activism. Her favorite quotes are “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living” by Nelson Mandela and “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite,” by William Blake.

Lathen’s motto is “question everything.”

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