The president, the mayor, fake news, and your local paper

Attacks on the free press are attacks on American values

Brooklyn Paper
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The necessity of a trusted free press to the health of American democracy has been undisputed since the founding of our republic — until now.

In recent weeks, the journalists of our free press have been slandered as “Enemies of the People” — not by a foreign power or fringe group, but by the President of the United States, the nation’s highest officer sworn to protect the Constitution enshrining the First Amendment rights those journalists exercise daily for the benefit of us all.

But President Trump’s casual use of this Stalinist epithet is only the most egregious example of a years-long campaign to destroy public trust in the news media and erode the ability of the Fourth Estate to hold our government and politicians accountable. The President routinely denounces factual reporting as “fake news” while trumpeting media outlets pushing propaganda, conspiracy theories, and outright lies as legitimate reporting. In short, the role of America’s free press is under attack — and with it, our nation’s founding values.

Without a free press that is justly trusted as a source of impartial truth, politicians and special interests have unchecked rein to lie, dissemble, and manipulate reality with impunity. Without journalists who are free to question public officials and demand information on government actions, the institutions that are supposed to protect and serve us cannot be trusted to do either. Without political leaders who respect the value of our free press to the American way of life, the world’s first constitutional democracy fails in its historic role as a beacon of freedom to all of humanity.

Trump is by no means alone, however, in the systematic attack on the role of the free press. On Aug. 12, Mayor DeBlasio had a New York Post reporter hauled away by police after he asked the mayor for comment on the paper’s recent story on the many meetings he and his top aides have had with lobbyists — meetings that DeBlasio had pledged as a candidate to disclose on a monthly basis, but only recently began revealing after four years in office, and only because of relentless pressure from the news media.

The work our reporters do in the neighborhoods we cover is as important as reporters taking leaders to task in City Hall and Washington, D.C. — and our reporters have been subjected to similar attacks, as well.

Last November, Julianne Cuba accurately reported that Community Board 18 district manager Dottie Turano had quietly filed a budget request asking the city to look at up-zoning Marine Park, and when faced with intense public blowback following the revelation, Turano denounced Cuba’s factual reporting as “fake news,” despite being unable to cite any actual error. Disdain for the free press has leached down from the very pinnacle of our government to even its most grass-roots level.

Editors and reporters across the country are standing together this week to denounce the attacks demonizing our profession and seeking to sabotage our ability to hold the people in power accountable for their actions.

And we ask you, the readers we work for, to stand with us.

Defending our free press from attacks by politicians and special interests should be a cause that rises above party, ideology, race, or any of the other fault lines along which some are seeking to divide our country. It goes to the heart of what America stands for, and is vital to the survival of government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

As women’s rights pioneer and investigative journalist Ida B. Wells wrote in 1892: “The people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare with the press.”

Jennifer Goodstein

President and Publisher, Community News Group,
NYC Community Media

Les Goodstein

CEO, Community News Group, NYC Community Media

Lincoln Anderson

Editor, The Villager

Vince DiMiceli


Brooklyn Paper

Courier Life Publications

Bill Egbert

Editor, Downtown Express

Deputy Editor,

Courier Life Publications

Zachary Gewelb

Editor, TimesLedger Newspapers

Laura Guerriero

Publisher, Bronx Times

Anthony Rotunno

Deputy Editor,

Brooklyn Paper,

Courier Life Publications

Paul Schindler


Gay City News,

Manhattan Express

Scott Stiffler

Editor, Chelsea Now

Michael Kevin Williams

Associate Editor,

Caribbean Life

Posted 12:00 am, August 16, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Valuable News says:
I know - where would be without articles like: Mommy juice: Brewery throws party for pregnant moms

If the press wants respect, they need to create better and more pertinent content.
Aug. 16, 2018, 6:08 am
Law and Disorder from NC says:
Same story different reports from different news sources who do you believe.
Many the Pres.. is correct.
Aug. 16, 2018, 9:58 am
Elizabeth from Prospect Heights says:
Thank you for this very important editorial.
Aug. 16, 2018, 10:38 am
Frank from Furter says:
This is local paper. Local and sometimes strange local stories are to be expected. If you want the Wall Street Journal get a subscription.
Of course stories differ. People have different views.This is not TASS.
The president is generally not correct. He didn't have the largest crowd. Obama was born in Hawaii. and Russia did try to interfere in our election, Putin says so.
Aug. 16, 2018, 10:45 am
Petey from Sunset Park says:
It seems to me that the press is only interested in Constitutional rights when it impacts them. Most have reach the level of being no better than the National Enquirer as far as content. They are only interested in sensationalism to get people to watch, read and click on their fake stories and positions. They also seem to be willing to advocate the elimination of other people's Constitutional rights when it benefits their agenda. Many but not all are enemies of the people.
Aug. 16, 2018, 11:13 am
Frank from Furter says:
enemy of the people? nonsense. Its not your enemy just because you disagree. You can't goo back to pre ww2...
Aug. 16, 2018, 12:13 pm
SCR from Realityville says:
It's really a no-brainer.If we want less corruption of the political powers,we need the Democrats to capture control of the United States Congress. At least retake,the U.S.House of Representatives. Come November 6th.,we also equally need the NYS Assembly,to honestly flip to Republican party control. And,in November 2019,we need to elect,considerably more Republicans to the NYC Council. One(1)party government has almost always proven, to govern more corruptly,and less competently. As for our state governor,we should re-elect,Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Aug. 16, 2018, 2:05 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Electing Democrats will bring about less corruption? That is the fakest news ever. The Democrats are the party of walking around money, graft, Tammany Hall, dead voters, and every scam known to mankind. Just take a look at who runs this state and city.
Aug. 16, 2018, 2:15 pm
SCR from Realityville says:
Henry Ford,I only said elect Democrats,where there are excessive;numbers of Republicans. In Washington,DC. Locally,in NYC and New York state,I want more Republicans. As our state,and especially,our city;is excessively run by Democrats.Kindly,accurately read my comments.
Aug. 16, 2018, 3:20 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Fair enough, SCR
Aug. 16, 2018, 3:31 pm
Daniel from Bay Ridge says:
We stand with our local news. Sure sometimes people will disagree, or call you out once in a while... but we hope only with more facts. Never with dismissiveness, never denigrating the institution, and always with respect. The rest of the time? We will celebrate the great work you all do. Thank you.
Aug. 16, 2018, 7:02 pm
Wake up stupid, from Bay Ridge says:
Only a complete dunce would still support the orange monkey in office and blame all problems on Dems.
Aug. 16, 2018, 10:12 pm
Leroy from First houses says:
I'm a dunce who supports the orange monkey and the 35% my portfolio has increased.
Aug. 17, 2018, 8:07 am
Tostada Gonzalez from Ciudad Juarez says:
LOL, WakeUpStupid is the one that needs to wake up. Typical leftist strategy to call people dunces. This fool probably calls people racist, nazi, fascist, homophobe anytime someone disagrees with them. Scary person.
Aug. 17, 2018, 10:47 am
Wake up stupid, from Bay Ridge says:
Why do you butttholes keep deleting my comments and keep these racists ones? bk paper showing its true colors.
Aug. 17, 2018, 5:36 pm
Wake up stupid, from Bay Ridge says:
Lost a reader, sad.
Aug. 17, 2018, 5:37 pm
Wake up stupid, from Bay Ridge says:
Only a complete dunce would still support the orange monkey in office and blame all problems on Dems.
Aug. 17, 2018, 6:36 pm
Frank from Furter says:
The stock Market more than doubled when Obama was in office.
Aug. 18, 2018, 6:59 am
Peter Barnes from Bath Beach says:
The media continues to collude and lie about our President. The Leftists continue to defame him, as witnessed by posts right here.

The FAKE NEWS MEDIA are traitors and deceivers, and Trump is 100% right. Unlike Bush 43 he fights back, and you Leftists who sadly run our local newspapers HATE it. Well, we hate you. #maga #kag #redwave
Aug. 18, 2018, 9:21 pm
Peter Barnes from Batn Beach says:
"American values"?? That is what you Leftists represent? Like what?

Hating america, as Cuomo just proved?

Abortions on demand tax payer funded?

Illegal aliens pouring in?

No borders? No ICE?

A weak Military?

Government controlling our lives?

LGBTQ values??

DON'T MAKE ME LAUGH, Fake News media.
Aug. 18, 2018, 9:26 pm
harry sax from Bay Ridge says:
^^^Out of touch local idiot^^^
Aug. 19, 2018, 9:40 am
harry sax from Bay Ridge says:
Abortions on demand tax payer funded?
Planned Parenthood never used tax dollars for abortions, you dope.
Stop watching fox news you clam. You have your scared head so far up your arse you can't think straight. LGBTQ values?? That's not even a thing, LGBTQ rights is and means they want the same human rights as everyone else. But yeah, over 300 news outlets are in cahoots to badmouth the president. You're a joke!
Aug. 19, 2018, 11:03 am

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