Obama out. Trump in. Whether you like it or not, there’s a new guy in town. As of this morning, Donald Trump has officially set foot in Washington D.C.
And, among countless other questions weighing on people’s minds, we’re wondering what journalism will look like under the Trump regime. Our new president has openly expressed his disapproval and distrust of the media. Whether it’s blasting CNN on Twitter or canceling, then un-canceling a meeting with The New York Times, it’s combative, impulsive and unpredictable. Not to mention, the term “Fake News” has catapulted to a new level.
So here are some of my predictions about what this means for the media we rely so heavily on:
- Media publications may check their facts a few times over: After CNN and BuzzFeed were blasted by the President for their “unverified allegations” that he has ties to Russia, Trump hosted a press conference (a first in nearly six months) to lash out at both publications, claiming both news organizations were motivated by “a sad and pathetic attempt to get clicks,” according to The Huffington Post. It’s clear that media hubs are working to generate content at a rapid rate. My prediction is that journalists will press the pause button when releasing accusatory or defamatory content about our new president without conducting solid due-diligence on their sources and providing proof, if asked, prior to pressing submit on a story.
- Spokespeople are key. To defend a story, leveraging an insightful and qualified individual in Trump’s political world will add credibility. My prediction is that news outlets will likely have limited access to the president himself. Therefore, we may see his inner circle leaned on more heavily. Journalists will be diving into Trump territory to request commentary on key decisions, foreign policy, healthcare and even climate change. While many journalists will continue to call out Trump and his policies, they may include quotes from Trump’s team to round out their story.
- Banning of press. Whether it’s Trump’s DC hotel banning press during inauguration week, according to Politico, prohibiting political reporters from riding with him on Air Force One or even refusing to let journalists cover his first meeting with Obama, Trump will have his way when it comes to the posse he wants around him. As we enter into a Trump-filled four years, my prediction is that Trump will pick and choose his favorite journalists to accompany him. He has already failed to follow traditional press protocols and broken long-standing tradition when it comes to media inclusion so there are no boundaries anymore. Trump and his team will bend the rules and have it their way.
Only time will tell if my predictions will hold true. After all, as we know, anything is possible. So, my only advice to journalists is to continue storytelling but to buckle up when doing so because it will be an interesting four years.