How will political reporting change under the Trump Administration?

How will political reporting change under the Trump Administration?

The White House’s relationship with the media changes with each new administration.

Many Communications@Syracuse students are working journalists and the recent questions about the role of a free press and criticism by President Trump, who called the media “the enemy of the people,” have been a topic of discussion.

Early into Trump’s administration, Communications@Syracuse asked political journalists to share their thoughts to add to the discussions we are having with our students. The responses below come from journalists around the country, including editors and correspondents from C-SPAN, the Tampa Bay Times and Mother Jones.

Here is some of what we have heard.

Steve Scully, Senior Executive Producer and Political Editor, C-SPAN Networks

What are your thoughts on how the new administration interacts with the media?

As with any new administration, the Trump White House is trying to set its marker on what the POTUS and press office thinks is—or is not—acceptable. This is not new. Every new president has issues with the press, it goes with the political terrain. What is different, however, is just how public President Trump has been with his war on the “dishonest, lying and crooked” media. Not since Richard Nixon have we had a president so vocal and so critical about the Fourth Estate.  Having said that, I give credit to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer for his open-door policy and his willingness to meet behind closed doors to deal with some of these issues. Sean understands the D.C. press corps and, while critical of some reporting, he has started out with a willingness to listen. That’s positive.

How, if at all, do you think political journalism will change during Trump’s time in office?

Like the media in general, political journalism is becoming sharper and often more partisan. We’ve moved from straight reporting the news to opinion journalism, which in many ways has led to a divided nation. This polarization will become sharper in contrast and even more evident, I fear, during the next four years of the Trump Administration.

Peter Grier, Washington Editor, The Christian Science Monitor

What are your thoughts on how the new administration interacts with the media?

The new administration treats the media as a prop, not a conduit. They are a part of the Trump show as opposed to a means for communication with the American people. The relationship has been moving in this direction since the Reagan administration so in some ways I’m surprised it didn’t happen earlier.

How, if at all, do you think political journalism will change during Trump’s time in office?

The White House is a difficult and unpleasant beat. I’d guess political journalism increasingly moves out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to the places where information is—the departments and Congress. White House reporters used to be many organizations’ chief political reporters, at the peak of their careers, stars on the Sunday shows and in the bars on the campaign trail. No more.

Sabrina Eaton, Washington Correspondent, Cleveland.com/The Plain Dealer

What are your thoughts on how the new administration interacts with the media?

It’s more disorganized than any newly installed White House operation I’ve experienced. It is hard to get questions answered. Not sure whether this stems from disorganization or a lack of desire to deal with the media. They’ve been in office less than a month, so it’s early. I hope this improves over time.

How, if at all, do you think political journalism will change during Trump’s time in office?

Trump‘s actions call for plentiful journalistic scrutiny. He will receive it and that will improve political journalism.

To read the full post and to hear from four more journalists on this topic, please check out the original post from Communications@Syracuse, the online masters in communications.

Heather Renae Cosson is the Inbound Marketing Specialist of Communications@Syracuse for 2U Inc. She earned a master’s in public relations from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Francis Marion University. Follow Communications@Syracuse on Twitter.

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