Journalists' Open Letter to Trump: Bring It On

Ban access? 'It's a challenge we relish'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2017 12:17 PM CST
President-elect Donald Trump speaks during the presidential inaugural Chairman's Global Dinner on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – If Donald Trump wants to limit reporters' access to his administration, well, that's OK with reporters. In an open letter to the president-elect in the Columbia Journalism Review, the collective press corps reminds Trump that while he can set ground rules for dealing with journalists, they've got a few of their own. "Telling reporters that they won’t get access to something isn’t what we’d prefer, but it’s a challenge we relish," states the letter, under the byline of CJR editor in chief and publisher Kyle Pope. "We are very good at finding alternative ways to get information." It also declares that "objective truth" is a reality, and "when you or your surrogates say or tweet something that is demonstrably wrong, we will say so, repeatedly."

The letter similarly makes clear that journalists are not obligated to devote space or air time to Trump surrogates who "repeatedly distort" the truth. It promises a "united front" when Trump ignores or berates a reporter or a particular news outlet. "We’ll work together on stories when it makes sense, and make sure the world hears when our colleagues write stories of importance." Finally, the letter acknowledges a "serious and widespread distrust in the media," which Trump helped highlight. "We have to regain that trust," it states. "And we’ll do it through accurate, fearless reporting, by acknowledging our errors and abiding by the most stringent ethical standards we set for ourselves." (Read it in full here.)

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