Journalists are the enemy of the people [Trump] QE 5 March 2017 Thor May

The American President has declared that journalists are "the enemy of the people". Is this simply unhinged, or is there an argument to be made here? What is the proper function of the 4th Estate in the 21st Century and how is that role to be formally accommodated?

1. Who qualifies as a journalist nowadays? - formally employed by a media organization / blogger / shill / commentator / ‘expert’ / spokesperson / publicity agent / leaker? /

2. Who are ‘the people’? - same as ‘the masses’? [that didn’t work out well], voters? people who didn’t vote? the rich? the poor? minorities or majorities? interest groups? workers? businessmen? the unemployed?

3. Whom should journalists speak for? - their employers?, their readers?, advertisers?, political factions?, ideological fellow travellers? whoever bribes them?

4. How unified are journalists as a group? Do they share the same values?

5. What can journalists write/say already and what can’t they cover now?

6. What is the history of states where journalism is suppressed?

7. Where have media moguls (as distinct from journalists) had either a beneficial or negative effect on populations?

8. Has the reach of journalism into the general population declined?

9. Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook owe much of their success to allowing the semi-literate to amplify their voices without evidence or careful thought. This is being deliberately manipulated by some controllers of Big Data like Robert Mercer and Steve Bannon. Will this destroy journalism?

10. For every action, there is a reaction (in physics or society). Will it prove to be healthy, in the long run, for media organizations to have found themselves ‘outside the tent’ of political power for a while, as is happening in America?

Journalists are the Enemy of the People  Discussion Questions ©Thor May 2018

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