Trump Tweets v. Journalism

What happens when the tweets of one man form the news of the majority

Illustrator: Lindy Wirth

Illustrator: Lindy Wirth

“Trump’s tweets are ruining journalism!”
“Why is the news full of Trump’s tweets?”

You have probably heard both of these statements, and although they may be paradoxical, they are also both incredibly real in the eyes of civilians right now. Most people’s confusions and questions have stemmed from a double standard that exists: While Trump’s tweets are taking away from traditional news and reporting, they are also creating the news and breathing new life into it. As the president, journalists cannot simply ignore his social media postings, no matter if they are true or false, obscene, or simply a personal rant; holding the highest position in office comes with a high amount of monitoring by media, which includes his tweets. In this way, he easily drives the news. But this may not be as negative as it sounds; it gives media a chance to fact check his tweets and discuss them on a larger platform in order to truly inform the public on the difference between true and false, relevant and outlandish, amid his 140 character submissions.

Although news platforms give journalists a chance to analyze Trump’s tweets, it takes away from the regular reporting agenda that presents salient issues in a more credible way. The breakdowns of our president’s tweets are fairly important to understand, but they should not take over our news space nor should they be the factor from which our news stems from.

Now for more bad news. Citizens who are not interested in watching the news, reading newspapers or magazines, engaging in political conversation, or attempting to extend their political knowledge past what they already know are the ones who do not care about the evidence that other outlets provide. Some constituents may only follow Trump or his cabinet members on Twitter, which is completely fine unless that is the only place they receive their political information. In turn, people often end up getting stuck in an blatant echo chamber in which they hear not only just one side of the conversation, but only one man’s perception of it. This is the danger in Trump’s tweets, not simply the fact that they take over the news.