Journalism: The state of the profession in Trump’s America

April Federico, Herald Reporter

On Aug. 17, there was a threat to the Boston Globe. A California man, clearly unstable, was threatening to kill Boston Globe employees. This man allegedly claimed that “Donald Trump saved America.”

What this man and Trump have in common is they both believe journalists are the “enemy of the people.” In fact, Trump’s infamous, childish tweets read things like, “The FAKE NEWS media: (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people!”


Robert Darrell Chain, 68, claimed that the Boston Globe journalists were the “enemy of the people” in response to an Op-Ed piece regarding Trump’s political attacks against the press. According to the Boston Globe, Chain is “slated to appear in a federal court in Boston on Sept. 24 to face a single charge of making a threatening communication in interstate commerce. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.” He had possession of military weaponry, grenades and up to 20 firearms.


When Trump was running against Hillary Clinton for president, he referred to CNN as the “Clinton News Network.” On July 20, 2017 Trump had met with the publisher of The New York Times, and afterwards, he tweeted the following:


“Had a very good and interesting meeting at the White House with A.G. Sulzberger, Publisher of the New York Times. Spent much time talking about the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, ‘Enemy of the People.’ Sad!” It’s quite obvious here that the two had very different takeaways from the meeting.


According to CNN, Sulzberger said “I told him that although the phrase ‘fake news’ is untrue and harmful, I am far more concerned about his labeling journalists ‘the enemy of the people.’ I warned that this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence.”


I was never aware of this until taking the class, Challenges of Democracy, but being a journalist is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Journalists receive threats on a consistent basis, no matter how harmful or mild. Some are even murdered, all for doing their job. This is an infringement of the First Amendment –– freedom of the press and freedom of speech.