Monday, December 12, 2016

What we are all asking ourselves ...

... and fearing the answers. Jay Rosen goes there. Professor Rosen (Journalism-NYU) has long been an observer of the foibles of a disoriented press and media. Thanks to Digby for storifying this series of tweets.

"Don't hurt us, we'll be good!" Another Professor, Timothy Snyder, who teaches Central European history at Yale, gives this weasel response a useful label: "Anticipatory Obedience."

Politico reports on the legal avenues the Trump administration might use to constrain the press.

If Trump wants to wage war on the press, he certainly has the tools to do so. He can’t open up the libel laws, but he could still make life very difficult for the reporters covering his administration. For now, all reporters and media lawyers can do is remain vigilant and push back if Trump tries to restrain or punish the press. If the Trump administration takes unprecedented steps to prosecute journalists under the Espionage Act, it will face aggressive legal challenges.

Fine -- if journalistic outlets don't flop into Anticipatory Obedience mode.

On the other hand, Margaret Sullivan at the Washington Post reports that engaged citizens can help the press do its job better by paying sharp attention:

... some Americans are tuning in. The New York Times and The Washington Post say subscriptions have soared since the election. The investigative outfit ProPublica, as well as other journalism nonprofit groups, report a flood of donations.

One Post reader wrote to me recently asking how her family’s foundation could help defend reporters against potential legal challenges. After conferring with Post Executive Editor Marty Baron, I suggested she consider a donation to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. She got back to me to say that they had done just that — to the tune of $10,000. ...

Most of us can't do that. But we probably can subscribe to media we find make us more informed and vigilant.

Resist much, we must.

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