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We are more concerned about locals' views than President Trump's


© James Borchuck/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

By The Capital Gazette Editorial Board, The Capital Gazette, Tribune News Service

Today, some 200 news organizations around the nation are calling on President Donald Trump to stop using hateful language that paints journalists as the "enemy of the people."

We realize, because of recent events, there may be wider than normal interest in what we say here today.

It's not that we disagree with concerns about the president's language in speeches and on social media. We noted with regret the hurtful nature of his remarks last month calling most journalists dishonest even as we attended funerals for five friends and colleagues killed in the June 28 attack on our newsroom.

[post_ads]We're just not coordinating with other news organizations because the president's opinion, frankly, is just not that important to us.

We are far more concerned about what this community thinks of us.

Residents of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County have made perfectly clear through words and actions that they understand our role in the community - and respect it even when they don't like it.

There are readers - yes, even those who disagree find time to read us - who make sure we know when they are unhappy about a story.

We recently published letters complaining about our story on a man who threw a message in a bottle into the Chesapeake Bay. Some readers felt betrayed: How dare we challenge their views of what is news after they so visibly stood behind us?

Where else could you read a story like this? Where else could you complain about it?

Even when the topic is criticism - even when the subject is us - this publication online and in print represents the common ground upon which robust public debate is built.

So, if we agree with other news organizations about anything today, it is probably our role. We are the watchdogs, the questioners, the annoying voice that refuses to accept this moment in time as the best we can do. Our perpetual role is to provide a place for discussion and, yes, dissent.
We don't feel coordinating with other news organizations will change the president's appreciation of that.

Even if it did, you won't suddenly find President Trump on the front page or at the top of our website most days. We tend to seek news here. There are exceptions, of course.

We have called on the president to honor one of our colleagues, Wendi Winters, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Members of Congress have written to the White House recommending this posthumous honor.

The president could use the occasion of presenting the medal to Wendi's family as a moment of change in his approach toward those whose job is to question his presidency. He could honor her work by expressing his belief in the importance of journalism to our country - even when he feels unfairly treated.

On that day, we guarantee, the president would be on the front page.


Note: If you think this story need more information or correction, feel free to comment below your opinion and reaction.

Politics - U.S. Daily News: We are more concerned about locals' views than President Trump's
We are more concerned about locals' views than President Trump's
Politics - U.S. Daily News
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