Supporting the press in such a turbulent time for the industry has a payoff of ensuring we’re getting the facts we need.
Last week #PressOn started trending on Twitter as celebrities, public figures, journalists and the general public shared their support for the press. Users started tagging photos and lists of their subscriptions to news organizations across the country.
The press hasn’t been able to rest easy since Inauguration Day, and the recent treatment of journalist leaves many questioning the future of the industry.
President Donald Trump has openly accused the media of spreading false information and said journalists, “are among the most dishonest people on earth.”
This coming from the president whose team has already excused misinformation as “alternative facts.”
Trump has repeatedly mentioned wanting to limit the access given to the press, so much so they may not even have access to the White House. He’s undermined the important role the press has played in the country since the very start of our nation.
RELATED: Twitter politics weekend recap
If there’s one thing this country needs now more than ever, it’s a credible press industry that’s informing the public with accurate facts.
The First Amendment of our Constitution establishes there shall be no law prohibiting freedom of the press. From the humble beginning of our nation, the press has acted as a fourth estate in the government. In our three-branch government designed with checks and balances, the press acts as the referee in the room, checking for corruption in the rest of the branches.
During the time our country’s own president is condemning the press, the need for support and to #PressOn is greater now than ever before. Supporting and paying for subscriptions to credible news outlets will be the fuel to keep these organizations going in a turbulent time.
The public needs information they know they can rely on. They shouldn’t have to watch the constant banter back and forth between members of the cabinet and the press.
Many celebrities including Ben Stiller and Steve Kerr voiced their support for the movement. Since the start of the hashtag last week, many publications including the Washington Post and The New York Times report a noticeable spike in subscribers.
The support behind these large press organizations keep them relevant and their need as a channel of information for the public still remains.
The public has been caught in the battlefield between the Trump administration and the press, and at the very least the press owes them facts that they can trust.
Journalism is a profession dependent on the people, dependent on their stories, dependent on the loyalty to reporting the truth and dependent on people believing in their institution in order to keep going.
There’s a notion that the public has a right to the news. While it’s in their best interest to be informed, receive the information for free or to find a way around paying for subscriptions to news outlets, they still aren’t actively supporting the role journalists play in our society.
RELATED: Stop the refugee ban
Supporting the press is one of the most important things the public can do in this time of uncertainty, because the press will advocate for the public. They’ll check the government, and make sure the stories and facts they’re putting out are accurate.
It’s not going to be an easy battle for the press, and they’ll have to stay on their toes throughout this administration. However, gaining the trust and support of the public will ensure the press can fulfill their duty of bringing to the public the information they need to know.
Paying for subscriptions, and even opening a paper to read facts for ourselves, supports the free press. If we read it and make it relevant, there’s no reason to suppress or remove the important role journalism plays.
It’s the duty of a journalist to provide people with the truth. Supporting this effort will help the truth survive in a time when the integrity of the journalism profession is under question. In what has the potential to be an extremely turbulent time for journalists over the next four years, support might be one of the few ways the public can exercise as damage control.
Follow Leah Gilchrist on Twitter.