This week, we inaugurate the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump. You’d be hard pressed at this stage to find someone who doesn’t have strong feelings about it one way or another. It was arguably one of the craziest election cycles in history—full of vitriol, scandal and lies.
And it wasn’t just the candidates that came under fire. It seemed like not a day went by without someone complaining about “the media,” on both sides. The media was “crooked”, they were biased toward Hillary, they weren’t hard enough on Trump. There was never-ending criticism of the media.
There is not a lot of thanks in journalism, so as president of an organization that represents this impressive group of hard-working citizens, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude. To the journalists working to inform the public about this monumental period in our country’s history, and for the work you do to bring the truth to light every single day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year: Thank you.
It is because of your investigative skills and integrity that we learned about each and every issue this campaign season. We saw a glimpse of Trump’s tax returns, we heard the tape of Trump talking to Billy Bush, we read Clinton’s emails. We knew when the candidates got their information right, and when they didn’t. We knew when they were inconsistent in their support or opposition – or just plain lack of understanding of – various domestic and global policies. This information got to us because of the media. Not in spite of it.
Our members did an amazing job, and under some of the most difficult circumstances. And I fear it’s not over, even with the election cycle behind us. But the media must not quit.
The next four years are going to test journalism. We are battling fake headlines, new print and digital models, outdated government rules and the Trump news machine. The attacks on the media clearly haven’t stopped post-election. As President, Trump will very likely continue to call into question the authenticity, financial stability and truthfulness of the media.
We must endeavor to get the truth and share it.
The next four years will test us, but I believe we will come out stronger, more effective, and more vital to the world than ever before.
David Chavern is former President & CEO of the News/Media Alliance. Chavern has 30 years of experience in executive strategic and operational roles. Prior to the Alliance, he completed a decade-long tenure at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.