Print Column: The Public’s Loss of Faith in Mass Media Began Long Before Donald Trump

MINOT, N.D. — It’s become fashionable for journalists to blame Donald Trump and his attacks on “fake news” for undermining the public’s trust in mass media.

An example of this are recent editorials from newspapers across the country, coordinated by a call to action from the Boston Globe, criticizing the President’s “dirty war on the free press” (as the Globe put it).

The combative attitude Trump has inspired is understandable. His comments about the media industry are often spectacularly unfair and calculated to distract from real news.

Still, Trump’s not the reason why the public has lost some of their faith in reporters.

Trump didn’t create public dissatisfaction with the news media. He capitalized on it.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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