A Non–denial Denial: A Study to Find Evidence That Donald Trump Is Changing the Perception of the Media


How is Donald Trump’s accusations of fake news changing readers and viewer’s perspective of the media? During the 2016 presidential elections, Donald Trump began to make public statements that discredit how journalists report the news. In this paper, I will examine the ways in which the integrity and accuracy of news reporting have been challenged. I will begin by first establishing what journalistic values and ethics are. Next, I will describe historical parallels beginning in the nineteenth century with the birth of yellow journalism, the 20th century with President Nixon, and in the 21st century with the introduction of citizen journalism. Lastly, I will explore the emergence of a new type of media and learn how people get their news. A preliminary conclusion is that Americans, in general, have a growing mistrust of the media The conclusions also show that both Trump and Nixon, both dealing with a significant White House crisis, draw upon this mistrust and use it to attack the press in an attempt to discredit reporters and deflect blame from themselves. In both cases, however, there is evidence that coverage of a White House crisis reaffirms the “watchdog” role of the news media, but this relationship is strongly conditioned by partisan affiliation. Trump is able to play on the public’s levels of uncertainty and political polarization to advantage himself by making the media look dishonest.

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