Trump’s Media


In Donald Trump’s improvised press conference/conversation last week, he scolded the press and took issues with them on reporting, particularly their reporting on him and his new presidential administration.

Trump assuredly is a different kind of President. He is a creative, top-notch marketer who clearly speaks his mind – right off the cuff, with no script, no prepared speech.

However, he is of the NOW moment. What he has recognized is that the world has changed, that today’s media world is new and direct, and that’s why he tweets – to get his messages to his supporters unfiltered.

Trump is speaking to the American public directly. He will probably continue this practice, because it is how he got into the White House in the first place and his tweets have over 25 million followers.

Everyone today is a “journalist.” All you have to do is have Facebook and a blog and you are in. Facebook is your text, video and photo all in one. So, think about it, if you were a politician, would you rather have a million hits on Facebook or one good hit in a major medium? Something to think about, isn’t it?

There is still a demand for New York Times type stories and what Trump labels failing media, but in reality all media counts, even the kid at school and the girl in the basement, writing away. Their opinions matter.

There is no insignificant media anymore. The viral video is as important as the evening news, because the evening news is now reporting on the viral video. The blog is as important as the major newspaper story.

Entertainers are making major announcements through social media in today’s world. Beyonce announced her pregnancy through Instagram.

Chris Kennedy announced his candidacy for the Governor of Illinois via YouTube. These are guaranteed controlled messages, as opposed to the press conference, where you may have to face uncomfortable questions.

Where we have a problem is with the control of the media. A vital keystone of a democracy is a free press. If the press is not free, then the media becomes controlled, and as Sen. John McCain said about Trump’s comment that “the media is the enemy of the American people,” a controlled media “is how dictators get started.”


Trump might well change how he is covered, he may recognize the changing face of media and he might play to it, but he cannot change the “free press.”

The irony here is that the press, with the advent of social media, has become even freer, because, as I said earlier, everyone with a computer, a keyboard and access to the Internet, are now the media. The press by no means will be suppressed, which is a scary proposition in all quarters of American society.

The funny and important thing about the American press, the free press, is that the more you challenge it, the more it pushes back and the deeper it digs in for the fight.

Politicians have a rough time of it with the press…and rightfully so. The job of the media is to look behind the scenes, to be suspect of the press release, to question, to kick the tires, to reveal what has not been said, to call b.s. when it runs across it.

But as we live in this new open time, what does it mean? Does it mean your emails are open to all? Does it mean a total invasion of privacy? Does it mean you welcome the press into your office, your home, at all times?

When does it start and stop? Does it mean you follow me everywhere? I think we are still determining what it means in this day of open communications.

Trump is trying to control his message, but most of all, he is examining thoroughly the interpretation of his words and his message as he learns the government way. I predict he will get very bored very soon with government, because it is too restrictive and entirely too slow in achieving results for a man of real action, as he is.

Trump must make friends with the media. I predict there will be new rules. I predict we are seeing the beginning of real change. But change from what to what, I don’t know.

But what I do know for sure is that it’s a new day for all of us. The world of media has changed and we are all changing with it, as we grope our way.

Hermene Hartman

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