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The Media Issue

by

REV DIANE SULLIVAN
  • Rev Diane Sullivan

President Donald Trump has called journalists "among the most dishonest people on Earth" and "the enemy of the people." His term "fake news" has come to mean anything people don't want to hear.

But there's a silver — OK, lead — lining in all of these Trumpian attacks on the press: Everyone now seems to have an opinion about it. For the first time in decades, Americans are being forced to think about journalism — and what this country would be like without it.

Newspaper subscriptions — in print and online — have risen sharply in the months since the U.S. presidential election. Ditto donations to organizations that defend journalists, such as the ACLU. Competing media outlets are standing up for each other.

Meanwhile, here in Vermont, local reporters are trying to get a "shield law" through the legislature to protect their confidential newsgathering; an Upper Valley website is trying to remake the "community newspaper"; Vermont PBS is making plans thanks to a $56 million windfall; and the University of Vermont wants to start a journalism department.

Read all about it in this week's Media Issue.