For this week’s paper, I watched Senior Editor Jordan Green use modern technology to do the work of a foreign correspondent. His conversations with a medic on the ground in Syria became the string for this week’s Citizen Green, which I’ll remind our readers is an award-winning political column.
And I saw Associate Editor Sayaka Matsuoka wrangle months of reporting into a tight, coherent and newsy feature on abortion clinics and those who disrupt them.
For our editorial, we looked at the work of a North Carolina journalism nonprofit that’s helping to fill the gaps left by our decimated daily newspapers.
In between, I viewed the parody video of President Trump slaughtering his enemies in the Church of Fake News, among them Black Lives Matter, deceased Sen. John McCain and just about every major media outlet in the world — he seemed to hold particular disregard for the BBC News, though in the end, no one was spared from the berserker rage.
We won’t be linking out to the video, but it’s important to note that it screened during a convention of the pro-Trump group American Priority, at a Trump property in Miami, in front of Donald Trump Jr., Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, among others, and was reportedly met with cheers.
Never before, in a 25-year career, have I ever felt the victim of such open disdain for our industry. Every reporter I know has, since the 2016 campaign, had uncomfortable, sometimes perilous, moments with Trump supporters and others who hate them for what they do.
I’ve got my problems with mainstream news: they police the subtext; they blur the lines between journalism and marketing; they rarely use semicolons — when I worked for a daily I was told that we should strive to write for an eighth-grade reading level. Don’t get me started on television. Just this week, amid the cries of “fake news” and “enemies of the people” and “unholy alliance,” ABC News’ “World News Tonight” used B-roll from a Kentucky gun range and tried to pass it off as the bombing of Syria.
But if they’re the enemy of the people, I suppose we are, too.
Later today, our little band of insurrectionists will eat pizza while we put the paper together and load the website — these things are still legal in the United States. We’ll make jokes about headlines and bicker over teasers, and we likely won’t give much thought to those who consider us enemies, the ones who cheered in Florida while the president gunned us down.