If headlines serve as a narrative, President Donald Trump’s early term is illustrating a war being waged against the Fourth Estate.
“The Trump Administration’s War on the Press,” “Is Trump Trolling the White House Press Corps?” and “Trump is Damaging Press Freedom in U.S. and Abroad” are among those topics covered just from the past week.
Not even 100 days into his presidency — which has historically been a period of settling — Trump is waging war against the press in America.
This after a significant incident on Feb. 24 when the White House held a press briefing that included a press pool, but excluded CNN, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, BuzzFeed News and Politics.
“This is an unacceptable development by the Trump White House. Apparently this is how they retaliate when you report facts they don’t like. We’ll keep reporting regardless,” CNN said in a statement on Twitter.
The exclusion has been perceived to some as a possible ban on media critical of Trump.
Why would Trump want to exclude major news organizations?
“He might just be doing it to be like oh see I can control this so now what are you gonna do- you have nothing to write — you have to get these sources from somewhere else,” said Delta student Ileana Diaz-Salcedo.
Press pools are used to have a small group of reporters take turns covering the president then share their reports with a larger group of the press.
Pools are common when it comes to briefings at the White House.
Excluding major news organizations? Not so much.
Stephanie Grisham a spokeswoman for the White House said the claims of a press ban weren’t factual and “the pool was there, so various media mediums were represented.”
Various media outlets allowed at the briefing included a large number of conservative news outlets such as Fox News, CBS, NBC, ABC, Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.
Time and the Associated Press were also allowed but protested the briefing due to the exclusion of other news outlets.
Outlets who made requests to attend but weren’t permitted included The Guardian.
The exclusion came as a surprise to many but some feel it was necessary.
“Honestly I don’t blame him at all, they did it to themselves a lot of the people in power or a lot of the people at CNN used to work for CIA,” said student Joaquin Dante Vasquez-Duran.
No real reason has been disclosed as to why the pool didn’t include certain media organizations.
Trump’s personal twitter account shows he’s not a fan of CNN or The New York Times.
“I think it speaks to a bigger problem in society one, we have a former reality television star who’s our president now which I think changes the tenor of the office anyways and it changes the rapport and how people communicate.,” said Associate Professor of Mass Communication Tara Cuslidge-Staiano.
She points to his personal Twitter account, which he uses to address the masses.
Trump’s use of his personal Twitter has got him in a lot of hot water these days.
“He’s obviously doing this from his @realDonaldTrump account and not the POTUS account and I think that kind of speaks volumes too because it’s clear that this is very much a personal opinion,” said Cuslidge-Staiano.
In fact, on his personal Twitter he has referred certain news outlets as the enemy of the American people.
Exclusion can be akin to censorship, said Cuslidge-Staiano.
Ari Fleischer, press secretary for George W. Bush has even said that Trump “is making journalism interesting and great again.”
With all the attention Trump has brought back to the press some feel like there is some truth to Fleischer’s comments on the state of journalism.
“I agree, and I think as a newspaper adviser I, in a way, have to agree to this. I mean my numbers in my registration for my journalism class has went up to the point that we have 32 between the two classes that feed the newspaper this semester, I think that journalism is very much becoming appealing again,” said Cuslidge-Staiano.