KUSI says NO to nationwide editorial page protest

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Newspapers from Maine to Hawaii pushed back against President Donald Trump’s attacks on “fake news” Thursday with a coordinated series of editorials speaking up for a free and vigorous press.

The Boston Globe, which set the campaign in motion by urging the unified voice, had estimated that some 350 newspapers would participate. The Boston Globe’s initiative aims to denounce “the war against the free press” and it suggested editorial boards take a stand against Trump’s words regardless of their politics.

The San Diego Union Tribune has chosen to participate in the movement.

KUSI has decided NOT to participate. McKinnon Broadcasting released the following statement:

We will not participate in the campaign for press freedom. The way to champion the First Amendment is to put it to use with quality journalism. This politically correct campaign is another example of pack journalism, and the herd of anti-Trump editorialists rushing towards a precipice of their own creation.

We do NOT fear the comments of the President, nor are we part of the prevailing anti-administrative narrative. It is our hope the RTDNA continues to encourage courageous reporting, powerful stories, and defining our culture in a balanced manner.

KUSI’s News Director, Steve Cohen, was on Good Morning San Diego to explain how and why we decided not to participate in the Boston Globe’s initiative. His full 10-minute interview can be seen in the video at the top of the article.

Video: Former SDUT editorial writer Joseph Perkins weighs in:

On Thursday morning, Trump again took to Twitter to denounce “fake news.”

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), which represents more than 1,200 broadcasters and web sites, is also asking its members to point out that journalists are friends and neighbors doing important work holding government accountable.

“I want to make sure that it is positive,” said Dan Shelley, the group’s executive director. “We’re shooting ourselves in the foot if we make this about attacking the president or attacking his supporters.”

It remains unclear how much sway the effort will have. Newspaper editorial boards overwhelmingly opposed Trump’s election in 2016. Polls show Republicans have grown more negative toward the news media in recent years: Pew Research Center said 85 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said in June 2017 that the news media has a negative effect on the country, up from 68 percent in 2010.

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