Civics: Legacy Media and Presidential Candidate Coverage.

Musa al-Gharbi:

Members of the press need to rethink their instinct to write endless Trump stories. That doesn’t mean a more aggressive posture; the alignment between the press and Trump’s ‘resistance’ has been part of the problem: In terms of endorsements and direct financial support, reporters and media organizations rallied behind Clinton’s candidacy (and against Trump’s) in a manner that was unlike any other contemporary election cycle. 

Studies by Pew and the Harvard Kennedy School show that, even after the election, press coverage has remained critical. Even if journalists might argue that his record doesn’t allow for more positive stories, this non-stop negative coverage has not lowered supporters’ esteem for the president. 

Instead, it seems to be contributing to greater polarization around the media itself. According to a recent poll by the Columbia Journalism Review, Americans have less confidence in the press today than any other major social institution—including Congress and the White House. Scaling back the obsession with Trump would almost certainly help restore some of that trust.