Donald Trump’s power is directly related to the implicit power giving him by the press. If the press changes its behavior appropriately it will be the end of Trump. Here is what they must do to reinstate good journalism.
Firstly, follow Robert Reich’s 8 steps below.
1. Stop treating Trump’s tweets as news.
2. Don’t believe a single word that comes out of his mouth.
3. Don’t fall for the reality-TV spectacles he creates. (For example, his meeting with Kim Jong-un.) They’re not news, either.
4. Don’t let his churlish thin-skinned vindictive narcissistic rants divert attention from what he’s really doing.
5. Focus on what he’s really doing, and put the day’s stories into this larger context. He’s (1) undermining democratic institutions, (2) using his office for personal gain, (3) sowing division and hate, (4) cozying up to dictators while antagonizing our democratic allies around the world, (5) violating the rule of law, and (6) enriching America’s wealthy while harming the middle class and the poor. He may also be (7) colluding with Putin.
6. Keep track of what his Cabinet is doing – Sessions’s attacks on civil rights, civil liberties, voting rights, and immigrants; DeVos’s efforts to undermine public education, Pruitt’s and Zinke’s efforts to gut the environment; all their conflicts of interest, and the industry lobbyists they’ve put in high positions.
7. Don’t try to “balance” your coverage of the truth with quotes and arguments from Trump’s enablers and followers. This is not a contest between right and left, Republicans and Democrats. This is between democracy and demagogic authoritarianism.
8. Don’t let him rattle you. Maintain your dignity, confidence, and courage.
The current form of journalism is incapable of saving America from the likes of Trump and the misinforming institutions funded by the plutocracy. But who says we must continue the techniques learned in the schools of journalism. A dynamic society requires change when realities change. The plutocracy and the right have gamed the current form of journalism. As such, it is essential that journalists adopt a new paradigm. No longer can they allow their platforms to be a ward of the right wing. Journalists must be on their game. They must know the subject they are covering to ensure the minimization of bloviating misinforming subjects. Most importantly, they must never leave misinformation and lies on the table. It must be refuted immediately, in real time. If the media had practiced that form of journalism, the birther movement, death panels, and other silly lies would never have gotten traction. It is time for a journalism where truth prevails at all costs. Misinformation must get no media-delivered traction.