June 29, 2017

Trump and the media at war: Who's right?

White House cries foul over coverage as journalists accuse it of getting in their way.

US President Donald Trump says there is a constant barrage of "fake news" directed at his administration and routinely accuses the media of liberal bias. Journalists, though, deny those accusations and instead say the White House is shutting out the press.


In recent months, the president’s press office has bucked protocol by holding off-camera briefings or cancelling them all together.

"We are not satisfied with the current state-of-play, and we will work hard to change it," says Jeff Mason, president of the White House Correspondents' Association.

In a statement on the organisation's website, Mason wrote: "The WHCA's position on this issue is clear: we believe strongly that Americans should be able to watch and listen to senior government officials face questions from an independent news media, in keeping with the principles of the First Amendment and the need for transparency at the highest levels of government."

In an interview with Fox News, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer accused reporters of devolving on-camera briefings into attempts to go viral. He pointed to how some journalists repeat questions about the same topics. "Some of these reporters are more interested in their YouTube clips than they are in getting factual news," he said.

So are journalists wasting time instead of actually reporting on the issues or is Trump a threat to press freedom? 

Joining us:

Yasmeen Alamiri @Yalamiri
Digital reporter, CGTN America

Heather Timmons @HeathaT
White House correspondent, Quartz

Siraj Hashmi @SirajAHashmi
Assistant editor, Red Alert Politics

Brian J. Karem @BrianKarem
Executive editor, Sentinel Newspapers


David Uberti @DavidUberti
Staff writer, Columbia Journalism Review

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.