Hundreds of newspapers across the country united in solidarity today and published editorials on the importance on the First Amendment.
The coordinated editorials are in response to a campaign by The Boston Globe that called on publications to condemn President Trump’s oft-repeated assertions that journalists are “the enemy of the people.”
“We propose to publish an editorial on August 16 on the dangers of the administration’s assault on the press and ask others to commit to publishing their own editorials on the same date,” The Globe said in its pitch to fellow newspapers.
SPJ submitted a letter to the editor of 200-plus papers, supporting their efforts. The newspapers – big and small – were joined by organizations such as the Center for Public Integrity, Washington Newspaper Publishers Association and by the president of the Society of Professional Journalists.
“The Society of Professional Journalists stands in solidarity with these newspapers and applauds their efforts to explain the importance of the work they do every day. We know that without them, the country would be a much darker, more secretive place,” wrote SPJ president Rebecca Baker.
“Journalists are trying to do a job,” read the editorial in The Mercury News and East Bay Times of San Jose, California. “We’re not trying to tear down our nation. We’re trying to strengthen it. For we believe in the foundational premise behind the First Amendment – that our nation is stronger if its people are informed.”
Here is a roundup of some of the other editorials published across the United States:
Society of Professional Journalists, Region 3: “The press isn’t ‘fake.’
Arizona Daily Star: ‘The free press is not the ‘enemy of the people’
The Bangor Daily News: “The media is the enemy only if you don’t want to know what your government is doing”
The Daily Herald, Arlington Heights, Illinois: “In midst of assaults, we must defend principles of First Amendment”
The Dallas Morning News: “We the people hold our elected official accountable”
Freeman (S.D.) Courier: “‘Enemy of the people’ rhetoric damaging”
The Hartford Courant: “The president wants you to think we’re the enemy. Here’s what we really do”
Idyllwild Town Crier, Idyllwild, California: “Out Loud: Fake news, American institutions, and the presidency”
The Kansas City Star: “President Trump, we’re not ‘enemies of the people.’ End your war on our free press”
The New York Times: “A free press needs you”
The Philadelphia Inquirer: “Stop the war on a free press”
San Diego Union Tribune: “How we restore faith in journalism“