Missoulian Joins Hundreds of Newspapers with Editorial on Trump
The Boston Globe reached out to newspapers across the country this week encouraging them to publish an editorial challenging President Donald Trump’s attacks on what he terms ‘fake news’, and the Missoulian newspaper participated with their own editorial, entitled 'Journalists are watchdogs, not wolves'.
Editor Kathy Best explained why the Missoulian chose to take part in the nationwide editorial statement.
“There’s been a lot of discussion prompted by President Trump about the role of the news media, and we have not always done the best job of telling our own story,” said Best. “The President, even before he was elected, has been using terms like ‘fake news’ and encouraging people at rallies to boo members of the media, to call us names and to raise questions about the veracity of the work that we do.” We should all speak with one voice that we are not ‘the enemies of the American people’, and why it’s wrong to call us that,” she said.
Does Best believe there is overall media bias against the President and his administration?
“There have been studies done about why the President uses the term ‘fake news’, and often when he uses that, what he means is it’s a story that he doesn’t agree with. It doesn’t mean it’s not accurate or unfair, it’s just that the story is making points that he doesn’t want made.”
The editorial in Thursday’s Missoulian was written by Tyler Christensen, the opinion editor, who Best says is a long time resident of Missoula.
“Tyler is one of the most thoughtful and fair people that I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with,” she said. “The words were Tyler’s, but the sentiment is shared by all of us at the Missoulian. We don’t cover a lot of world and national news, but we do care deeply about how we cover local and regional news in western Montana. We wanted to make clear that the broad brush that was being used by critics of the media we didn’t believe was fair. We wanted to make clear what our role is in covering city government, or schools, or the University of Montana.”
Best said she hopes the editorial speaks to the readers specifically in Missoula.
“Our editorial was designed to be read through a lens of a community newspaper doing its job as a watchdog of the community.”