Fighting back

Statement of A.G. Sulzberger, Publisher, The New York Times, in Response to President Trump’s Tweet About Their Meeting

Earlier this month, A.G. received a request from the White House to meet with President Trump. This was not unusual; there has been a long tradition of New York Times publishers holding such meetings with presidents and other public figures who have concerns about coverage.

On July 20th, A.G. went to the White House, accompanied by James Bennet, who oversees the editorial page of The Times. Mr. Trump’s aides requested that the meeting be off the record, which has also been the practice for such meetings in the past.

But with Mr. Trump’s tweet this morning, he has put the meeting on the record, so A.G. has decided to respond to the president’s characterization of their conversation, based on detailed notes A.G. and James took.

Statement of A.G. Sulzberger, Publisher, The New York Times:

My main purpose for accepting the meeting was to raise concerns about the president’s deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric.

I told the president directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous.

I told him that although the phrase “fake news” is untrue and harmful, I am far more concerned about his labeling journalists “the enemy of the people.” I warned that this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence.

I repeatedly stressed that this is particularly true abroad, where the president’s rhetoric is being used by some regimes to justify sweeping crackdowns on journalists. I warned that it was putting lives at risk, that it was undermining the democratic ideals of our nation, and that it was eroding one of our country’s greatest exports: a commitment to free speech and a free press.

Throughout the conversation I emphasized that if President Trump, like previous presidents, was upset with coverage of his administration he was of course free to tell the world. I made clear repeatedly that I was not asking for him to soften his attacks on The Times if he felt our coverage was unfair. Instead, I implored him to reconsider his broader attacks on journalism, which I believe are dangerous and harmful to our country.

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And we lose another daily

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The Daily’s Collegian front page announcing the change.

After 130 years, The Daily Collegian student newspaper at Penn State will cease daily publication and print only on Mondays and Thursdays.

It’s been decades since I was a college student toiling away on a student newspaper, but I’m surprised that the staff held out this long, but they explain why:

This transition is one we have tried to avoid, not out of resistance to try something new, but out of our own selfish desires to uphold the tradition the Collegian has been building for 130 years.

Seems like college students should be more interested in innovation rather than tradition, but it’s not impossible to do both.

Read their story here.

Did you hear the one about … nevermind

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I saw this in one of my local websites. I did not even know there was an English-Arabic community newspaper in the area (They circulate in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Read the rest of the story here. I know smaller newspapers are always scrambling to fill the news hole, but my suggestion is that they drop the jokes.