Tag Archives: reporters

National Press Club raises concerns about Trump’s ‘fake news’ label

The National Press Club raised concerns this week about President-elect Donald Trump’s continual use of the phrase “fake news” to criticize news stories that he disagrees with or that displease him.

In his Jan. 11 news conference, Trump refused to field questions from certain reporters, accusing one journalist of working for a “terrible” organization and referring to an outlet represented by reporters at the event as “fake news.”

For the record

National Press Club president Thomas Burr responded with the following statement:

With the proliferation of false news stories dotting the Internet, it is important for American leaders to discern the difference and not intentionally conflate misleading and fake stories from dogged and investigative news that is fundamental to our country.

It is dangerous and unhealthy to declare a news item as “fake news” to distract from facts that you may not like or don’t favor your perspective.

Our incoming president must treat the news media as the vital cornerstone of our democracy that it is. To label something as “fake” in an effort to undermine news outlets endangers the trust granted journalists by the public and is antithetical to our country’s values.

To be sure, news organizations make honest mistakes and when they learn they’ve done so, they correct them.

That is entirely different from web sites that deliberately disseminate false information.

The president-elect appears to be conflating the two in an attempt to discredit news organizations whose coverage displeases him.

Doing so may foment a dangerous disrespect for journalists who, however flawed, are merely doing their best to inform the public.

Presidents shouldn’t get to pick and chose which reporters’ questions they will answer based on what news outlet for which they work. Doing so now is inappropriate and will do unprecedented damage to our democracy.

About the National Press Club

The National Press Club is the world’s leading professional organization for journalists.

Through its Press Freedom Committee, the club works to promote freedom of expression and transparency at home and abroad.

The National Press Club Journalism Institute, a nonprofit affiliate, equips news professionals with the skills to innovate, leverages emerging trends, recognizes innovators and mentors the next generation.

Wisconsin Republican’s campaign blacklists reporters

A Republican running to be Wisconsin’s schools superintendent has blacklisted five reporters he considers biased.

An internal memo from state Rep. Don Pridemore’s campaign says he will not call the five back or give phone interviews to them or their media outlets.

It names Mary Spicuzza of the Wisconsin State Journal, David Umhoefer and Patrick Marley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jack Craver of The Capital Times and Scott Bauer of The Associated Press. Craver provided a copy of the memo to the AP on March 17.

Neither Pridemore nor his spokeswoman, Tina Gorzalski, immediately returned phone calls from the AP seeking comment.

The memo was dated Dec. 21. Pridemore did not respond to multiple calls from the AP recently seeking an interview for a story previewing his race. The Hartford Republican is challenging incumbent Superintendent Tony Evers, who’s led the state Department of Public Instruction for four years. The job is officially a nonpartisan post.

“If the reporter requests an interview, they must submit their questions in a written form and they will receive a written response to only those questions we want to respond to,” the memo said. “These are all LIBERAL’s and have chosen to parse words, phrases and spin my responses to fit their agendas. If they continue to spin our written responses, they will be ignored in the future.”

The memo also said any dealings with the five and others should be tracked on a spreadsheet. It does not say what reporting, if any, landed them on the blacklist.

At a debate last week, Pridemore and Evers outlined very different visions for Wisconsin’s schools.

Pridemore backed GOP Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed expansion of the state’s voucher system for private schools beyond Milwaukee and Racine, as well as his proposed freeze in public school spending.

Evers opposed both proposals and said he wanted to raise spending by $225 per student. The election is April 2.