Newspapers rebuking Trump probably won't change anyone's mind, says veteran reporter
Boston Globe campaign could do as much harm as good, warns one editorial
A co-ordinated newspaper rebuttal to U.S. President Donald Trump's attacks on the media is unlikely to change people's minds, according to a veteran journalist.
"I think people who read editorials in newspapers probably aren't the people who are on Donald Trump's side, generally speaking," said Mark Bulgutch, a former senior executive producer of CBC News who now teaches journalism at Ryerson University.
The FAKE NEWS media (failing <a href="https://twitter.com/nytimes?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nytimes</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/NBCNews?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NBCNews</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/ABC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ABC</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/CBS?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CBS</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/CNN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CNN</a>) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!—@realDonaldTrump
In a campaign launched by The Boston Globe, more than 200 U.S. papers printed editorials defending the free press Thursday, rebuking the president for repeatedly labelling them "the enemy of the people."
Bulgutch agreed that "you can't let Donald Trump and his ilk get away with the attacks," but wasn't certain it would make a difference.
"Will it actually do anything, will it persuade anybody who already might support Donald Trump or is neutral — will it change any minds?
"It's hard to say that it will."
The president has repeatedly accused the media of publishing fake news and refuses to call on reporters from certain outlets. Last month a CNN reporter was barred from a White House event for asking "inappropriate" questions.
Not all newspapers have taken part in the editorial response, however.
"Trump's anti-press rhetoric is toothless and should be of little concern to a confident, competent news media, the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia stated in an editorial.
The Dispatch added that "a unified editorial campaign aimed at the president will do as much harm as good," by confirming his supporters' belief that the news media is united against Trump.
Sandra Shea, who wrote the editorial for the Philadelphia Inquirer, said that there was never a thought that it would "change the mind of Donald Trump, or change the mind of his supporters."
"This was a message, I believe, we were trying to communicate to the American people … of a reminder of the importance of the free press, of the importance of what happens without a free press," she said.
"[The free press] is one of the key institutions of our government."
Listen to the full conversation near the top of this page, which includes an extended interview with Stan Behal, a journalist physically attacked at a recent rally.
This segment was produced by The Current's Julie Crysler and Noushin Ziafati.