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Interviewing people is part of a journalist’s job with a free press

I started an entirely different blog today, and just scrapped it because Trump’s lies about the press are making me so angry. His constant claim that the free press is the “enemy of the people” is a blatant falsehood and he obviously knows that. If he can get a majority of Americans to believe his claim, then he can silence and control the media and spread his own hateful propaganda just like Hitler did decades ago.

If people believe Trump’s lies, it follows that my nonfiction books appear to be based on falsehoods. As an author of nonfiction books for students and adults, the texts that I have writen often contain information from printed and electronic resources—newspapers, magazines, cable news, and other media. Reporters and journalists are the people who provide the printed material backed up by evidence and often statements from experts in many fields. THEY ARE NOT ENEMIES. I have found trustworthy information from press reports about epilepsy, divorce, volunteering, activism, obesity, food shortages, and many other topics on which my books are focused.

Because of Trump’s constant attacks and those of his lackeys on Fox “News,” the American public appears to be swallowing the lies and taking part in assaults against the free press. As is well known, five journalists at the Capital Gazette in Maryland were shot to death on June 28, 2018 because the shooter had a vendetta against the newspaper. Did the shooter feel emboldened due to Trump’s mantra about the press? I doubt anyone will ever know.

Because of the potential and real violence journalists face, the Boston Globe contacted editorial boards of newspapers nationwide, proposing that they print editorials about the dangers of the Trump administration’s assaults. The Globe requested a coordinated effort–that newspapers “commit to publishing their own editorials on the same date August 16, 2018, which is exactly what hundreds of U.S. newspapers did.

As I wrote in an earlier blog: Newspaper readers and TV viewers could also do their part. Commit to efforts to maintain a free press. Without it, there is no “watchdog” on behalf of the public’s interest, and democracy is endangered. Americans need to know what their government is doing, otherwise an authoritarian administration can and will attempt to control what people read and view. That is Trump’s stated goal. If we do not have accurate, truthful, factual information, we are subject to dictatorship and fascist rule.

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